Sunday

18th Nov 2018

Future EU countries could face new migration curbs

  • Bucharest: British tabloid hysteria on Romanian workers turned out to be bogus (Photo: Nico Trinkhaus)

The European Commission has said future EU members could face extra controls on movement of workers in a concession to the UK.

It noted in an enlargement strategy paper, published on Wednesday (8 October), that past rounds of accession have caused “migratory pressure on the EU”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Promising to do an impact study on the issue, it added: “The possible need for and nature of transitional controls and/or a safeguard mechanism on the free movement of workers will be addressed in the course of accession negotiations on future enlargement”.

Under current rules, existing member states can impose “transitional controls” of up to seven years before people from new members enjoy full EU rights to come in search of jobs.

The UK says this is not enough to stop exceedingly large numbers moving from poorer countries in the east to the rich west.

Britain’s lifting of restrictions on Romania in January this year did not result in a large influx despite tabloid fear-mongering.

But prime minister David Cameron has come under strain on immigration due to gains by the eurosceptic Ukip party ahead of next year’s elections and ahead of a referendum on EU membership in 2017.

Writing in the Financial Times last November, he said one idea is to limit freedom of movement until new entrants attain “a certain income or economic output per head”. His second idea was to impose a “cap” if the number of migrants from a given country went beyond an agreed figure in a given year.

David Liddington, his Europe minister, on Wednesday welcomed the commission initiative, saying “I am pleased that the commission has taken it [Cameron's proposal] up”.

He also said it is proof that Britain's voice still counts in Brussels despite its referendum plans: “This is further evidence that we are working with partners to shape the debate about the future of Europe”.

The UK is one of the few advocates of further EU expansion among older member states.

It says that Turkey, a fast-growing Muslim country of 75 million people, should also one day join for “strategic” reasons.

A UK diplomat told this website the EU change is needed to “maintain confidence” in enlargement in the wider British public.

He noted that every EU state has a potential veto over individual steps in the enlargement process, such as the opening or closing of legislative “chapters” on labour in accession talks.

EU enlargement heading into chilly period

The EU commission is not recommending any fresh steps on Western Balkan enlargement in the next 12 months, with one official saying the policy is in "de facto freeze".

EU to propose scrapping summer time change

Based on the preliminary results of an online survey in which mostly Germans took part, the EU executive is proposing that the whole EU stops changing times in March and October.

Investigation

How to get around the EU posted workers directive

Some EU careworkers in Belgium receive around €400 a month - despite their carers paying €2,500 a month and paying for flights and accommodation. The answer lies in how firms can skirt the safeguards in the EU's posted workers directive.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation

The EU Commission has received several million responses from citizens, businesses, and organisations on whether to end the daylight summertime savings. Any tangible change would take ... time.

Exclusive

Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs

Wegate.eu, which received €1.2m in EU money since its launch almost two years ago, has less than a thousand registered users - from a possible target audience of at least 10 million.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us