Thursday, 30 April 2009

New EU member states: Freer movement of workers

Tomorrow, 1 May 2009, five years have passed since the “big bang” enlargement of the European Union. The ten acceding member states were: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. (Bulgaria and Romania became EU member states on 1 January 2007.)

One of the principal aims of the European Community (European Union) is to eliminate barriers which divide Europe. For these purposes the EC (EU) activities include an internal market characterised by the abolition, as between the member states, of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.

In other words, the four fundamental market freedoms which relate to free movement are not restricted to goods, services and capital, but apply to human beings as well.

New developments

Denmark lifts all and Belgium some restrictions on the free movement of workers from 1 May 2009. See the Commission’s press release: European Commission welcomes the decisions by Belgium and Denmark to open their labour markets (29 April 2009).

For an overview of the transitional provisions concerning workers from you can turn to the web page Enlargement - transitional provisions and the links you find there.

Ralf Grahn