Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda remains positive about opening the Slovak labour market to current EU member states. He is against reciprocal measures, the news wire SITA reported.
"When moves were made to take reciprocal measures against those countries that are implementing one- or two-year transition periods, I was calling for common sense, i.e., to do what is good for the citizens. Do we need to scare away foreign investors or do we still need to attract them?" Dzurinda asked.
The cabinet meets on April 28 to decide whether to open up the labour market to all EU countries or to initiate counter-measures.
The Labour Ministry is submitting both variants to the session, branding the first politically and economically more advantageous because the majority of accessing countries are not considering any counter-measures and free access to employment could be an impulse for foreign investors.
The government should at the same time express principal disagreement with limitations in the free movement of the work force and give reminders that concerns over a flood of workers were not confirmed in previous enlargement stages.
It should also appeal to European Union member countries not to succumb to prejudice and to base their policies on realistic projections of migration.
The longest restrictions to the free movement of new EU citizens were announced by Germany and Austria, which pushed through seven-year transition periods in the treaty on the accession of new members.
Employment conditions equal to those of the domestic work force were only maintained by Ireland. In the same way as the United Kingdom, it wants to limit entitlement to social benefits.
France wants a five-year transition period but proposed an agreement on the exchange of experts under 35 years for between three to twelve months with the possibility of an extension by six months.
Two-year restrictions will be introduced in Belgium, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, and Portugal.
Sweden should decide by the end of April; its government is proposing restrictions for two years.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
28. Apr 2004 at 10:14