The seven-year transition period for application of the principle of EU‑wide freedom of movement to workers and services from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary — which joined the Union on 1 May 2004 — expires on 1 April 2011. Wage levels in these countries are still nowhere near those of Member States such as Germany or Austria. So there is a danger of dog-eat-dog competition for jobs, particularly in the countries adjoining the new Member States, and the result could be a steep rise in unemployment in Germany or Austria.
1. Are there estimates of how many people can be expected to joint the dole queues in 2011 and 2012?
2. Is the EU planning measures to head off a wave of job losses?
3. If so, in what form?
4. Are there plans for joint arrangements with the new EU Member States to bring their wage levels into line?