Czech EU presidency to try and ease labour restrictions

23-01-2009

The Czech EU presidency has said it will try to ease - if not remove - remaining barriers for citizens from newer EU countries to move freely on older members’ labour markets. Such barriers continue to affect countries which joined in 2004, including the Czech Republic. The commitment to easing conditions was made by the Labour and Social Affairs Minister Petr Nečas, at an informal two-day meeting between EU labour and social affairs ministers in southern Moravia. Belgium and Denmark have announced they will open their labour markets as of May but Germany and Austria are expected to apply restrictions until the end of April 2011. Mr Nečas insisted on Friday that member countries had no reason to continue applying restrictions during the transitional period, adding that countries that had opened their markets earlier had benefited from the step.