Belgium to lift job bans on East Europeans in May

Belgium plans to lift labour restrictions on workers from eight eastern European countries from May 1, a government official said on Thursday.

Belgium to lift job bans on East Europeans in May

The move was decided by senior members of the government this month and is expected to be approved by a full session of ministers on Friday next week, the official said.

It will allow workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia in to Belgium from next month, five years after their countries joined the European Union.

Those from Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the bloc in 2007, would not be eligible to work in Belgium until 2011, unless they secured a work permit.
Belgium is one of a few EU member states that have kept job restrictions on citizens of the countries that joined the EU in 2004, most of which were once ruled by communists.

Member states wishing to retain restrictions, such as Germany and Austria, need to notify the EU's executive Commission of their wish by the end of April.

The global economic crisis has put labour movement from poorer parts of the EU into the spotlight. Britain, which is estimated to have taken in more than 1 million Poles since 2004, has faced some protests against foreign workers.

In Germany and Austria, where restrictions have been kept, job seekers usually need a work permit.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Nisan 2009, 08:03