As to Germany’s recourse to transitional regulations on the free movement of workers, which will initially be in force during the time from 1 January 2007 till 31 December 2008, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs stated as follows:
In February, the Federal Cabinet decided – upon the suggestion of the Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Mr. Franz Müntefering - that the Federal Government will inform the EU Commission about its intention to make use of transitional arrangements on the freedom of movement for workers from Bulgaria and Romania, as a start for the period of two years, i.e. from 1 January 2007 till 31 December 2008. Moreover, sending workers abroad in order to perform cross-border services in the fields of construction, industrial cleaning and interior decoration at first will also be restricted by the end of 2008.
For Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession to the European Union, the legislator has already taken the required domestic measures by means of the law on the adjustment of statutory provisions of the Federal Republic as from December 7, 2006. By now, it is secured by the Cabinet’s resolution that Germany’s decision will also be effective at the European level.
Indeed, in the current year, Germany has been very successful on the labour market. Nevertheless, the Federal Government wants to reduce the unemployment to a greater extent. The accession rate of employees from Romania and Bulgaria therefore must be controlled continuously. As a result of the decision of the Federal Government, Bulgarian and Romanian citizen are treated equally in comparison to the member states that joined the EU on Mai 1, 2004 (exempt from: Malta and Cyprus which already enjoy free movement of workers). For the citizen of all of these countries applies: The controlled and limited admission of employees to the German labour market remains possible. The domestic law, in particular the immigration law and bilateral agreements, accordingly provide for admission possibilities.
According to the Treaty of Accession as of April 25, 2005 which was concluded between the EU on the one hand and Bulgaria and Romania on the other hand the former member states may impose restrictions on the free movement of workers during a period of 7 years at most (so called 2+3+2 system). Germany and Austria, moreover, are entitled to impose restrictions on the dispatch of workers for cross-border services in certain economic sectors, as long as the free movement of workers is restricted.
For further information on the transitional regulations on the free movement of workers from the EU accession states please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (http://www.bmas.bund.de/), select the rubric “Arbeitsmarkt” and click on “Ausländerbeschäftigung”.
Source: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, translated by MKRG