Minister of State Werner Hoyer issued the following statement today (26 April) on the lifting of limitations on the movement of workers from new EU member states as of 1 May 2011:
“Seven years after the EU accession of the ten countries known as the new member states, it was high time to remove limitations on workers’ freedom of movement, which is in principle guaranteed under EU law. In doing so, we have made a significant contribution to completing the internal market.
Earlier fears of the flooding of the German labour market or even of an excessive foreign cultural influence in Germany have proven entirely unfounded. On the contrary, we will in the medium-term actively seek the immigration of skilled workers, and will need to develop a culture of welcoming new arrivals.
In light of economic developments in the past few years – especially in eastern Germany – we would at least in some sectors have been happy to see the limitations on workers’ freedom of movement lifted earlier.”