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Nine EU member states notify EC on keeping or lifting labour clampdown for Romanian workers

Nine European Union member states, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Italy, send notifications to the European Commission (EC) regarding either their keeping or lifting labour clampdown for Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the labour market in the aforementioned states, said EU executive spokesperson Ryan Heath on Tuesday.

Out of the above-mentioned states, Italy had already made an official announcement in late December that they lifted the restrictions imposed to Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the Italian labour market starting on January 1, 2012, whereas the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium announced they would maintain the clampdown by late 2013.

According to the Agerpres'correspondent, the European Commission will analyse this week the notifications received. The states that used to impose restrictions on the labour market prior to December 31, 2011 for the Romanian and Bulgarian workers were Austria, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Italy and they had to notify the EC by the end of last year regarding the status of maintaining or lifting the restrictive measures.

The Treaty of Accession 2005 allows the EU-25 (the founding states and those joining the EU by January 1, 2007) to temporarily restrict the free movement of workers from Romania and Bulgaria on their labour markets to prepare the complete freedom of movement on the labour market within the EU. The general transition period of seven years is divided into three stages (two plus three plus two years). During this period, a safeguard clause allows a member state to reintroduce restrictions in case of major disturbances on its labour market or if these events might be perilously close (as Spain did on July 22 last year). The transitory measures will irrevocably end on December 31, 2013.

As regards Spain, the Madrid-based Government ruled on July 22 to unilaterally suspend the European legislation regarding the free movement of the Romanian workers following an overall severe perturbation of the labour market and requested the Commission, according to the safeguard clause, to rule the EU relevant legislation as suspended. The EU executive approved Spain's request on August 11, authorizing the state to temporarily curb the access on the domestic labour market for the Romanian workers by December 31, 2012 following a severe disturbance of the labour market, namely record unemployment figures in the EU and a slowdown of economic revival.

As the authorization granted by the Commission to reintroduce the restrictions .

According to the safeguard clause is valid by December 31, 2012, Spain is not requested to notify the EC again on the major perturbance on the labour market or the peril incurred by it. The restrictions readopted are not valid for the Romanian workers who had already been active on July 22, 201 on the Spanish labour market or who had already been registered as searching for a job by the Spanish employment public services.