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Free movement of workers: Catch us if you can!

21 August 2013
Trouw Amsterdam

Catch us if you can! – Tom Janssen

On the sign: eastern Europe

In an open letter published by Trouw and The Independent on August 17, the Dutch Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, Lodewijk Asscher, demanded an that an ‘orange alert’ to counter the negative consequences of the free movement of labour be established for migrant workers from Central and Eastern Europe.

Not only was his letter very poorly received by a number of eastern countries, including Bulgaria, but it is also called into question by Dutch daily Trouw which wonders if the Romanians and Bulgarians, who, from January 1, 2014, will no longer require visas to work throughout the EU, really represent a danger for the Dutch labour market.

According to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), Romanians and Bulgarians prefer to move to southern countries, like Spain and Italy.