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2004-12-03

Another rant against permanent restrictions on labour market access 

According to a new poll reported in DiePresse [DE], currently 75% of Austrians are against Turkish EU-membership, and only 14% are in favour.

This fact explains the actions of some Austrian politicians, is (partly) caused by these actions - and still does not justify them.

What does it mean to impose permanent restrictions on access to the labour market in other EU member countries? It means that even in, say, 80 years, certainly an unimaginably long time in terms of politics, and even if, by then, Turkish GDP/head were to be at or above the EU average, Austrian politicians would still have the option, every time Austrian unemployment rises, to exclude Turkish citizens (but not Italian or Polish citizens) from assuming jobs in Austria. This is certainly ridiculous. And what's more, if anyone were to argue for this, they would have to use cultural arguments rather than economic ones, because the essence of permanence is that it ignores time-bound economic imbalances in the real world(such as GDP/head difference), as is made evident by the scenario above.

So the EU is about to impose culturally-based discrimination on access of its own citizens to certain EU labour markets?? That's not even realpolitik, that's a populist backlash against political rationality. I was surprised that Edward Hughes seems to have some sympathy for the proposal, albeit based on his confidence in some demographic and economic predictions.


3 comments:

A good option is to limit the right to get a working permit abroad at the beginning of the EU expansion, for a limited period of time, as it is the case now in the "old" EU for workers from PL, CZ, SK, etc.

It gives both countries (of origin and of work) the time to adapt to the new situation.

Of course, it is unacceptable to limit the right to work longer than temporarily.

tonio
 

Read of course my last sentence this way "unacceptable to limit more than temporarily the right to work"

tonio
 

considering the number of years spent on negotiating each entry, I don't really see the point of these transition periods AFTER the entry, except as a psychological measure to calm down all those existential fears in the old member states... anyway, thanks for your comment and I like your blog!
 
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