Denmark opens job market to new EU members in 2008


Denmark will open its borders to workers from Eastern Europe next year, the government said Friday – IHT reports. 

The Nordic country is one of several European Union members that maintain labor market restrictions on citizens from the 10 eastern European countries that have joined the bloc since 2004. But starting next year, workers from those countries will have the same access to Danish jobs as people from other EU nations, the government said. It has not yet decided on the exact date the restrictions will be lifted. The government and opposition parties agreed Friday to lift the restrictions on workers in a binding decision that does not need parliamentary approval.

The decision applies to workers from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. Under EU rules, citizens from all member nations should be allowed to work wherever they like within the bloc. However, some of the old EU members, including Denmark, imposed temporary restrictions to prevent a feared influx of cheap labor. The Danish labor market has improved steadily since December 2003, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in May. (



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