Seminarreihe des Arbeitsbereichs Ökonomie am IOS
Zeit: Dienstag, 13.30–15.00 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS); vorerst online via Zoom, Link wird mit den Einladungen verschickt!
Forschungslabor: „Geschichte und Sozialanthropologie Südost‐ und Osteuropas“
Zeit: Donnerstag, 14–16 Uhr (Lehrstuhl) oder 16–18 Uhr (Graduiertenschule und Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus)
Ort: WiOS, Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 017)
Ekaterina Sprenger, OEI
The abolition of obstacles to freedom of movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the borders of the European Union (EU) has been first called for by the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), which was signed on 25 March 1957, and entered into force on 1 January 1958. The right of freedom of movement as a worker has existed since 1957 and is enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (previously Article 48 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community and Article 39 of the Treaty establishing the European Community). Free movement of workers means that EU citizens are entitled to seek employment in another Member State, to work in another Member State without needing a work permit, to live in another Member State for that purpose as well as to remain there after the employment has finished. Free movement of workers also means that EU citizens have the right to equal treatment with nationals as regards access to employment, working conditions and payment.
The free movement of capital, goods and services has been well represented in the policy debate from the foundation of the European Community onwards while the mobility of persons has received comparatively little attention. The eastern enlargement rounds gave a strong impetus to filling this gap. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia (EU-8) as well as Cyprus and Malta joined the EU on 1 May 2004. The last EU enlargement round has added Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2) to the list of Member States on 1 January 2007. The substantial income gap between the EU-15 and Central and Eastern Europe as well as on average higher unemployment rates in the new Member States raised doubts about the scale of labour migration from these countries. A number of fears such as rise in unemployment, depressed wages and migrants becoming a net burden on the taxpayer in the receiving countries as well as slower economic development due to 'brain drain' in the new Member States are associated with the increasing migration. Uncertainties about the economic and fiscal consequences of immigration forced most of the 15 EU Member States to impose temporary restrictions on labour mobility, the measures applying to migrant workers from the new Member States. The transitional measures concern only migrant workers, not self-employed or retired persons, students or any other category of EU citizens.
In 2004, citizens of Cyprus and Malta could immediately benefit from the rules for the free movement of workers within the EU while transitional arrangements (see table) concerning free movement of workers have been applied to other new Member States. A maximum of seven years (2+3+2) of postponement enabled the old Member States to regulate the opening of their labour markets. Transitional arrangements regarding free movement of workers have been applied previously in case of the accession of Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986. Yet these cannot be seen as a precedent for the latest transition arrangements because in the latter case, each country is free to lift the restrictions or to remain a great believer in transitional measures. In the case of the accession of Greece, Portugal and Spain, the transitional period was fixed to seven years. The transitional measures for Portugal and Spain were withdrawn before the expiration of the initially established period. Another difference is the introduction of the phases of the transitional period. Delegating the choice of whether or not to open the labour market from the supranational to the national level had an important outcome for the migration flows within the EU-27 after the eastern enlargement rounds. The United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden were the first countries to open their labour markets after the 2004 enlargement. During the second and the third phase of the transitional period, all EU-15 countries with the exception of Austria and Germany have withdrawn transitory restrictions on labour migration from the EU-8 (see table). On 1 May 2011 Germany and Austria will no longer be allowed to keep their labour markets closed to workers from the EU-8.