Procedure : 2011/2958(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0729/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/12/2011 - 20
CRE 14/12/2011 - 20

Votes :

PV 15/12/2011 - 9.9

Texts adopted :

PDF 120kWORD 73k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0727/2011

further to Questions for Oral Answer B7‑0673/2011 and B7‑0674/2011

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on freedom of movement for workers within the European Union (2011/2958(RSP))

Marije Cornelissen on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on freedom of movement for workers within the European Union (2011/2958(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0258/2011),

–   having regard to Articles 21, 45 and 47 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Articles 15, 21, 29, 34 and 45 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–   having regard to Article 151 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 6 December 2007 on ‘Mobility, an instrument for more and better jobs: The European Job Mobility Action Plan (2007-2010)’ (COM(2007)0773),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 18 November 2008 on the impact of free movement of workers in the context of EU enlargement (COM(2008)0765),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 13 July 2010 on ‘Reaffirming the free movement of workers: rights and major developments’ (COM(2010)0373),

–   having regard to the European Parliament motion for resolution on the transitional arrangements restricting the free movement of workers on EU labour markets,

–   having regard to the report from the Commission to the Council on the Functioning of the Transitional Arrangements on Free Movement of Workers from Bulgaria and Romania, COM (2011)729 final,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the identification of outstanding barriers to mobility in the internal labour market,

–   having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the right to live and work in another country of the Union is one of the fundamental freedoms of the EU guaranteeing equal treatment and protection against discrimination based on nationality, a basic component of Union citizenship recognized by the Treaties, yet two of the Member States still face barriers regarding the right to pursue a job on the territory of another Member State;

B.  whereas, according to the Commission communication of 11 November 2011, mobile workers from Romania and Bulgaria have had a positive impact on the economies of Member States which host mobile workers;

C. whereas no negative effects have been reported in those Member States which have not applied the transitional measures concerning free movement of workers originating from Member States that acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007, but a number of Member States have decided to continue applying restrictions in their labour markets with respect to nationals of Romania and Bulgaria, due more to political pressures than to justified economic and labour market possible negative effects;

D. whereas according to recent statistics, at the end of 2010, the mobile workers from Romania and Bulgaria residing on the territory of another Member State represent 0.6% of the total EU population;

E.  whereas the inflows of Romanian and Bulgarian workers produced positive effects in the markets of the receiving countries as they entered occupations or sectors with labour shortages;

F.  whereas the Commission stated in its last communication that Romanian and Bulgarian mobile workers are more likely to be in their economically productive period of their life than the host country nationals, based on the fact that the EU-2 mobile workers under 35 years old represent 65% of the total movers in working age, compared to 34% in the EU-15;

G. whereas recent Eurostat data show that mobile workers from Romania and Bulgaria have no significant effects on the wages and unemployment rates of the host countries;

H. whereas Romanian and Bulgarian workers face total or partial restrictions of their fundamental freedom of movement based on equal treatment as recognised by the Treaties, while at the same time the cross border mobility of workers in the framework of ‘services’ (via subcontractors and intermediaries and false self-employment) is increasingly replacing the free movement of workers, leading to unfair competition on wages and working conditions;


I.   whereas the free movement of workers represents a positive socio-economic example for both the EU and the Member States, being a milestone for EU integration, economic development, social cohesion, individual upgrading at professional level, counteracting the negative effects of economic crisis and creating a stronger economic power that is prepared to face the challenges of global change;

J.   whereas the latest communication of the European Commission states that the disturbances on national labour markets are the result of a variety of factors such as the economic and financial crisis and structural labour market problems, not due to inflows of Romanian and Bulgarian workers;

K. whereas the Court of Justice has consistently held that derogations from fundamental freedoms must be interpreted strictly;

L.  whereas some Member States have announced that they intent to keep restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers in place until 2014; whereas others have announced that they will open up their labour markets for all EU workers;

1.  Calls on the Member States to abolish all transitional measures in force, given that there are no real economic justifications to restrict the right to work and reside on the territory of another Member State for Romanians and Bulgarians; takes the view that these barriers are counterproductive and represent discriminatory measures against European citizens, creating an EU with unequal rights;

2.  Calls on the Council to fully take into account the communication from the European Commission and to follow the proposed line when assessing if the transitional barriers are a favourable and necessary measure;

3.  Calls on the Commission to propose a clear definition, for the terminology ‘serious disturbances of labour markets or threat thereof’;

4.  Calls on the Commission to prepare a set of clear indicators and methodology based on economic and social indicators on the bases of which can be assessed if there is a clear justification to prolong total or partial restrictions imposed by Member States proving negative disturbances on their national labour markets caused by Romanian and Bulgarian workers, and to apply this process also when a Member State requests the safeguard clause;

5.  Calls on the Commission to publicise in the most transparent way the criteria under which a Member State is allowed to maintain the transitional barriers taking into account the effects of such a decision on the economy of the European Union and the interpretations accepted by the European Court of Justice regarding the strict interpretation of derogations from fundamental freedoms;

6.  Points to the fact that Member states that maintain restrictions without a clear and transparent justification of serious labour market disturbances in line with rulings of the Court of Justice are in violation of the treaties; calls on the Commission as guardian of the treaties to ensure compliance with the treaties;

7.  Notes that the restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to enter lawfully the labour markets of the EU-25 can lead to increasing numbers of undeclared work, which in the end results in abuses of workers´ rights, reduction in tax revenues and growing part of the shadow economy;

8.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to lift the restrictive transitional periods, so that the Bulgarian and Romanian citizens can enjoy equal treatment as recognised by the Treaties, thus ensuring citizens rights, the fair competition between businesses and preventing any social and economic dumping;

9.  Notes that transitional measures are counterproductive for combating false self-employment and irregular employment since workers without the right to enter the regular labour market freely sometimes choose to work as a false self-employed or irregular worker without decent pay and working conditions;

10. Stresses that a prolongation of restrictions can significantly delay the adaptation process of labour markets that host mobile workers;

11. Calls on the EU-25 to consult social partners before deciding whether to end or extend total or partial restrictions concerning the freedom of movement of workers from Romania and Bulgaria;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

Last updated: 14 December 2011Legal notice