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Internal Market

PR(09)04: Free movement of workers

22.1.2009

EFTA States notify extension of transitional arrangements for workers from Bulgaria and Romania

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have notified the Authority of their decision to extend, as of 1 January 2009, the transitional arrangements for workers from Bulgaria and Romania for the second phase. The second phase covers a three year period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011.

The EFTA States decided after the EEA Enlargement on 1 January 2007 to introduce transitional arrangements concerning the access to their labour market by workers from the two acceding countries. In December 2008 the Authority received notifications from all three EFTA States stating that they had decided to extend the transitional arrangements for workers from Bulgaria and Romania for the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011.

Transitional arrangements regarding the free movement of workers have been agreed in the two last Accession Treaties to the European Union and were later taken over into the EEA Agreement. These arrangements allow EEA States to temporarily restrict the right of workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 to freely move to another Member State to work (namely Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, which all joined in 2004, as well as Bulgaria and Romania, which joined in 2007).

Transitional arrangements aim at gradually introducing free movement step-by-step over a seven-year period. There are three phases (2+3+2 years) during which different, increasingly strict conditions apply as to the conditions under which EEA States can restrict labour market access.

 

For further information please contact:

Ingvar Sverrisson
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel: +32 2 286 18 32

 

Brussels, 22 January 2009




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