Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission
EU nationals have the right to work in other Member States (Article 39 of the EC Treaty). This right to free movement of workers includes the right to have equal access to jobs and equal treatment in relation to working conditions as compared to the nationals of the host Member State.
On the basis of Article 39 nationals of other Member States must, therefore, be allowed to apply for research positions for which an employment contract is offered (like the positions under BAT IIa/2 as concerned in the written question) at the German Max Planck Society in the same way as German nationals.
According to the information of the Commission, nationals of other Member States are equally entitled to apply for research posts (e.g. Doktorandenstellen). In the job-offers for Doktorandenstellen currently put online at the homepage of the Max Planck Society (23 January 2004) no nationality condition is stipulated.
In order to be able to further evaluate if the facts contained in the written question might constitute a breach of Community law, the Honourable Members are therefore invited to send more information to the Commission (Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs), including information about the cases of the non-German EU nationals who were refused application for such a Doktorandenstelle on the basis of their nationality or who have obtained such a post but without the working conditions as foreseen for BAT IIa/2 employees.