BELGIUM and Denmark will fully open their labour markets to citizens of Slovakia and nine other central and eastern EU countries beginning May 1. After this, only Germany and Austria within the EU will require Slovak workers to have work permits, the Sme daily wrote.
After a partial opening of the Belgian labour market, opinions of the Belgian political parties on the next course diverged. Neither Flanders nor Wallonia objected to the complete opening of the labour market and the Belgian capital of Brussels finally, in the end, gave up on its earlier reluctance.
The fact that Belgium does not share a border with any of the countries which became EU members in 2004 and the fact that it would be difficult for the European Commission to support keeping the restrictions were decisive factors.
The support by employers who favoured opening the labour market also contributed significantly to the final decision.
According to statistics from the Eures.sk portal advertising jobs to Slovaks in foreign companies, German companies offered, via the portal, 92 jobs to Slovaks during the last half-year of 2008. Great Britain, a popular destination for Slovak workers, offered 874 jobs but there were no job offers on the portal from Belgium or Denmark during the period.
4. May 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports