Two other Western governments announced or suggested measures to tackle the inflow of Romanian and Bulgarian workers once these countries join the EU next year. A top Dutch official announced a proposal for a two-year restrictions period, while France said it would open its market partially for the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria.

France’s European Affairs minister Catherine Colonna announced Paris has decided to apply to Romania and Bulgaria the same provisions that have been valid for workers from the A8 countries since May 2006 once the two SEE states join the EU in January 2007. The official said it would a controlled and progressive opening, as jointly decided by authorities in Paris and its social partners.

Starting May 2006, citizens of new member states are allowed to work freely in 61 types of jobs in seven economic sectors in France.

For his part, a state secretary with the Dutch Social Affairs minister Henk van Hoff has announced that he informed the Dutch Parliament about a planned proposal to apply two-year period of restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian workers. The parliamentary debate in this regard is due to take place somewhere after the Dutch November 22 elections but before January 1, 2007.