Rome decided to fully liberalise its labour market for citizens of the EU’s two newest members, Romania and Bulgaria, which entered the EU in 2007. Both nations have complained of bias because their nationals were not able to enjoy free access to the Union’s labour market. Rome’s decision is a “proof” that keeping labour market restrictions is done out of political and not economic reasons, said MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP-Romania).
Nine EU countries have decided to keep restrictions for the next two years “fully or partially”, up to now, 10 countries maintained restrictions. However, EU countries cannot impose restrictions without officially justifying their decision first, commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, said recently. Several countries that have announced they will keep the labour market closed to Romanians and Bulgarians have reportedly invoked the effects of the economic crisis. Romanians and Bulgarians will still be able to apply for work permits in the countries which will maintain the restrictions for the next two years, but they will not have the same rights as nationals from other EU nations.