Belgium Too Keeps Doors Closed to Workers from Bulgaria, Romania
Belgium has become the third European Union member state to officially prolong the temporary ban on Bulgarian and Romanian workers for two more years, until the beginning of 2014.
Brussels officially notified the European Commission about its decision late on Friday, just hours after Great Britain and Ireland made a similar announcement, the state-owned Bulgarian News Agency reported.
EU countries may prolong a temporary ban on Bulgarian and Romanian workers for two additional years, i.e. until 2014, if they prove that will pose a serious threat to their labor markets.
Earlier this week the European Parliament renewed its calls for an open door labor market in the ten older member states that still impose restrictions for job-seekers from Bulgaria and its northern neighbor Romania.
The MEPs said that no negative effects have been reported in those member states that opened their labor markets to workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007.
On the contrary, a Commission report of 11 November 2011, found that workers from Romania and Bulgaria have had a positive impact on the economies of those Member States that have allowed them in to work.
Nevertheless, a number of Member States have decided to continue applying restrictions to Romanian ad Bulgarian workers, due more to political pressures than to any justified fear of negative effects on their economies or labour markets, says the resolution.
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg Malta, the Netherlands and UK all still restrict the access of Bulgarian and Romanian workers to their labour markets. Spain is also restricting Romanian workers' access, with the Commission's approval, until 31 December 2012, due to serious disturbances on its labour market.