Free Movement of Workers Good for Europe's Economy - Report

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | November 19, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 9
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The European Commission (EC) published on Tuesday a report showing that migration workers from countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007 have had a positive impact on Member States' economies and have not led to serious disturbances on their labor markets.

Workers from the EU-8 as well as Bulgaria and Romania have made a significant contribution to sustained economic growth, without significantly displacing local workers or driving down their wages, the report says.

Both for the EU as a whole and for most individual countries, labour flows have been limited compared to the size of labor markets and to inflows from non-EU countries.

"The right to work in another country is a fundamental freedom for people in the EU. Mobile workers move to where there are jobs available and this benefits the economy," VladimГ­r Е pidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said.

"I call on Member States to consider whether the temporary restrictions on free movement are still needed given the evidence presented in our report today," the Commissioner added. "Lifting restrictions now would not only make economic sense but would also help reduce problems such as undeclared work and bogus self-employment."

The EC report finds that mobile workers from Bulgaria, Romania and the EU-8 have made a significant contribution to sustained economic growth over recent years, by addressing labor market shortages, without making heavy demands on welfare states while there is little evidence that workers from the new Member States have displaced local workers or driven down their wages in a serious way, even in those countries where the inflows have been greatest, although there have been some temporary adjustment problems in specific areas.

Member States' population statistics show that by the end of 2007 the population share of Bulgarians and Romanians living in the EU-15 increased from 0.2% to 0.5%. The majority of mobile workers from the new Member States which joined in 2004 - mostly from Poland, Lithuania and Slovakia - went to Ireland and the UK, while Spain and Italy have been the main destination countries for Romanians. Yet, with the exception of Ireland, post-enlargement flows from the new to the old Member States have been significantly outnumbered by recent immigration of non-EU nationals.

Evidence also suggests that many EU mobile workers go to another Member State on a temporary basis but do not intend to stay permanently.
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» To the forumComments (9)
FIGMENT - 19 Nov 2008 // 22:53:19


You are partly right. No nation got rich by having immigrants sending money home. Look at Mexico. On the other hand, some countries never get rich, no matter how "hard" their people work. Look at Portugal or even Spain. The people are too involved in enjoyment of their life style and they are not interested in working too hard. It is not a question of working hard, it is a question of working smart.

CreepyS - 19 Nov 2008 // 22:03:09


I dont forget but this parasitic way to increase the living standard of emigrant relatives and get money for nothing has never made a single poor nation rich.

All nations that have become rich did it with hard work in the country, not the hard work of their emigrants.

CJB - 19 Nov 2008 // 21:53:38

Creepy, you forget the remittances which many migrant workers send home to their families. This certainly helps the economies of BG and RO - cold, hard cash to spend on flat screen TVs, cars, mutri-baroque architecture...

Whether it benefits the societies is quite another issue.

just me - 19 Nov 2008 // 19:23:01

Hi Creepy,
All's well here. Wow! That sounds like a perfect arrangement for you. I'm so happy that you can make that work- it seems a rare opportunity. I don't know what it's like to be an immigrant, but it is wonderful that you've gotten to that level professionally and are still willing and able to make changes in your life to make your happiness a priority. You're not asking for congratulations, but that's a great place to be.

You're traveling a lot lately! If you ever do find yourself in Chicago, please let me know. :)

CreepyS - 19 Nov 2008 // 19:02:47

Hi just me,

How are you doing? Im not paid by international organization. I will still work for 2-3 months a year where I work now for the next couple of years so Im gonna be okay. I dont care about transition - Im not poor, I dont feel happy here and after 16 years abroad I dont want to be immigrant anymore.

I go to Boston in the week 1-5 December but I dont think you live close to there, otherwise we could meet.

just me - 19 Nov 2008 // 18:40:56

That's all true, Creepy, but it's impossible to combat the brain drain without more jobs of brainy caliber to pursue in Bulgaria. It seems even the lowest paying occupations are paid more in western Europe.

Didn't you mention that you will be going back soon? Not to be too personal, but will you still be paid by an international organization? Otherwise, I don't know how you could make that transition.

Best wishes

CreepyS - 19 Nov 2008 // 17:37:06

"migration workers from countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007 have had a positive impact on Member States' economies and have not led to serious disturbances on their labor markets."

So you displace half a million workers from BG with population of 7.5 million and over 1 million workers from Romania with population of 22 million and this has a positive effect on these economies? Its total BS.

As the article is written it looks like East European immigrants did good or at least didnt cause much harm to the developed EU economies but it doesnt say what happens with the economies where these people came from. Of course you have labor shortage, brain drain and less growth in most of Eastern Europe because of the mass migration.

I somehow doubt Taro and some other folks who diffused in the wrong direction of the main migration can counterbalance hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from BG alone.

L16toDE13viaDT7_DT1_TQ1andPO35 - 19 Nov 2008 // 17:18:11

Oi, Tar!

Perhaps you should prepare some GRITS for breakfast and eat that with eggs and Crystal sauce.

Gritting me teeth, lol!
Tarmac O'Cunningstuntshire

Taro - 19 Nov 2008 // 17:15:34

When I just think what I contribute to the bulgarian economy and development...

I deserve a medal!!! This Stara Planina would be just fine.


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