Monday

23rd Oct 2017

UK drafts plans to limit Bulgaria and Romania migrants

The UK government is drafting a work permit scheme aimed at limiting the number of Bulgarian and Romanian jobseekers coming to Britain after the two countries join the EU, with both interior and finance ministries in favour of a regime similar to one already in place for other third country nationals.

According to UK daily The Guardian, the labour restrictions likely to be introduced by London would require new migrants to prove they can fill specific skills shortages, with relatively few eligible applicants getting permission to work.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The new workers might be rated according to skills and education (Photo: European Commission)

"We have a strong record on accepting migrants from Europe, but sometimes politics has to override the economics and that is what is going to happen in this case," one member of the cabinet closely involved in the talks told the newspaper.

The existing UK work permit system is based on a points system, with migrants from non-EU countries rated primarily for education and professional qualifications.

EU citizens have a right to work in any member state, but current members are allowed to place restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania for up to seven years on the same model as in the 2004 round of enlargement.

Sofia and Bucharest have expressed disappointment over plans by some countries to fence off labour markets, while several EU member states have not yet made clear what line they will take.

Britain was one of three "old" member states - along with Ireland and Sweden - that fully opened up to citizens from eight countries in central and eastern Europe right after they joined the bloc in 2004.

The move has seen some 600,000 new jobseekers come to the UK so far - well in excess of government estimates - causing a backlash in some tabloid press and a lively debate on the Bulgaria and Romania question.

London predicts between 60,000 and 140,000 people will come from the two states to the UK in the first year after accession, which could take place in January 2007.

London takes harder line on Bulgarian and Romanian workers

Britain has sent another signal suggesting a policy shift on labour market access to workers from the new EU member states, as a newspaper poll shows 77 percent of people approve of putting work restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians.

Italian regions demand autonomy from Rome

The Lombardy and Veneto regions in northern Italy are seeking greater self-determination from the central government following referendum results on Sunday.

Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

Turkey accuses Merkel of racism

Turkish foreign minister said German chancellor's call to end EU accession talks was "same rhetoric as racist parties".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Martens CentreI Say Europe, You Say...? Interview With Commission VP Jyrki Katainen
  2. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  3. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  4. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  5. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  6. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  7. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  10. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  11. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  12. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe