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View Full Version : EU enlargement : Are East European workers 'stealing' job in Western Europe ?



Maciamo
16-07-05, 10:39
EU Observer : Polish workers hurl protests at French embassy (http://euobserver.com/?sid=9&aid=19590)


Polish tourist offices in recent weeks have been trying to make light of French fears that Polish workers will come and steal their jobs - publishing pictures of sexy plumbers and nurses with slogans such as "I am waiting for you in Poland".

Rzeczpospolita quotes French economists Vincent Aussiloux and Michael Pajot, who said French exporters have created 150,000 extra jobs in France on the back of higher sales to central Europe after enlargement, while enlargement has cost just 5,000 jobs in France so far.

They added that French supermarket owners in new member states tend to employ French managers and stuff shelves with French products.

French firms are the largest foreign investors in Poland, which suffers an unemployment rate double that of France at around 20 percent.

This, I think clearly shows that both old and new EU members can profit from the enlargement, but so far the fears have been that the new, poorer member states steal the jobs in richer countries, while the facts have been that Western European companies have been the ones to profit a lot from the enlargement. French companies invest massively in Poland, selling their own products, while few Poles have come to France.

It is only natural, as it is easier for a big company to invest abroad than for a low-paid manual worker to move in a foreign country where life is expensive and the language different. The Portuguese and the Greeks have not rushed to Northern Europe when their country joined the EU, and it is unlikely that Eastern European, speaking even more diffrent languages, would do so now. The UK is probably the first destination for migrants as English has become the most widespread language learnt at school in Eastern Europe.

Lacan
16-07-05, 12:36
The controversy (if there is one) is coming from our good friend Frits Bolkestein who said on TF1 that he couldn't find a plumber for his house in France and that he would like some polish plumber to come and fix his problem (with the salary and social protection of his native country of course). Too bad their were about ten french plumbers in the very same town his house is, and all reachable through the phone book...

Maciamo
16-07-05, 13:35
The controversy (if there is one) is coming from our good friend Frits Bolkestein who said on TF1 that he couldn't find a plumber for his house in France and that he would like some polish plumber to come and fix his problem (with the salary and social protection of his native country of course). Too bad their were about ten french plumbers in the very same town his house is, and all reachable through the phone book...

Considering that this issue may have played a key role in the rejection of the EU Constitution, I hope this chap is not the only responsible for giving French voters second-thoughts. :okashii:

Maciamo
10-02-06, 12:39
After a bit over a year since the admission of the 10 new member states, the 3 Western European countries (UK, Ireland, Sweden) which accepted Eastern Europeans workers show a stronger growth than usual and no higher unemployment. Finland and Spain have already decided to accept Eastern EU workers from 1 May 2006, while Germany and Austria will extend the restrictions. Other countries remain undecided.

Expatica : New EU workers 'good for economy' (http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=1&story_id=27474)

Maciamo
31-03-06, 23:54
Little update. Belgium now accepts Eastern EU workers, while the Netherlands will do so from 1 January 2007. Germany will keep restrictions until 2009.

Thor
01-04-06, 00:29
They are members of the same union, right? I don't see the problem even if more Eastern Europeans are stealing jobs in Western Europe. It's still just hunting for a job in a capitalistic economy.

Maciamo
01-04-06, 07:51
They are members of the same union, right? I don't see the problem even if more Eastern Europeans are stealing jobs in Western Europe. It's still just hunting for a job in a capitalistic economy.

Try to compare it to cheap Mexican workers "stealing" US citizens' jobs. :-)

Thor
01-04-06, 07:54
I really don't mind if mexicans take U.S. jobs as long as they are citizens of the U.S. If they are citizens, then they have the right to. They are just trying to make a living like I would be. Who said capitalism was going to be fair? If someone will work more for less, and if somebody else won't work for less then obviously the person who will work for less will get the job.

Maciamo
01-04-06, 09:01
I really don't mind if mexicans take U.S. jobs as long as they are citizens of the U.S. If they are citizens, then they have the right to. They are just trying to make a living like I would be.

See, that's the point. Many Mexican immigrants blamed are NOT Us citizens (but Mexican citizens). In Europe the situation is a bit more complex. Until 2004, all those Eastern European countries were NOT part of the EU, and therefore their citizens needed a visa to come and work in the EU. But 10 new (much poorer) countries joined in 2004, and 80 million people can now work in Weestern Europe for 1/3 of the normal wage there. Hence the decision (based on irrational fear) of some countries to put some restrictions on Eastern European workers for a few years, to give them time to get used to this new situation.

Thor
01-04-06, 09:24
It's really not their fault that they are poor countries. If they can do the labor, then why not let them do it? It sucks for the people who already live in the western countries, but again capitalism has never been fair. Putting restrictions on e. european workers in w. europe is reasonable. The amount of workers coming into the country probably shocked the economy. 2-3 years would be reasonable, don't you think?

Maciamo
01-04-06, 10:56
That is what's happening. 3 countries allowed Eastern European workers immediately, a most others after 2 or 3 years, and a few for up to 5 years... Eventually they will be allowed to work anywhere in the EU, because after all that is what the EU means too.

Elizabeth van Kampen
03-04-06, 17:57
Maciamo wrote:
Little update. Belgium now accepts Eastern EU workers, while the Netherlands will do so from 1 January 2007. Germany will keep restrictions until 2009

I agree, but we already have Polish men and women working in Holland, through Polish temporary rmployment agencies. What now happens is that the Turk who has worked for over twenty years in our greenhouses is now pushed outside by the harder working and cheaper Pole. The Turk was happy to work in the greenhouses, it was a job the Turkish people liked to do.
But as it was on TV past Friday, the Turkish men now hang around in the coffee-houses and have to try to find other jobs. I find this quite sad.
But the Dutch bosses are very pleased with their Polish employees.
We'll see what is going to happen in 2007, we might get a new government at the same time here in the Netherlands.

Duman
25-04-06, 02:31
Turks in Europe have a complex. Maybe when we join the EU it'll cure itself, but I htink we'll never be truely accepted by Europe.

I hope Europeans can stand up to themselves and actually fulfill what their unions motto says: "UNITED IN DIVERSITY".

Maciamo
01-05-06, 13:09
Finland, Spain, Portugal and Greece are lifting restrictions on Eastern European workers as of today, 1 May 2006. France, Germany and Austria will keep restrictions for several more years. No news about Italy and Luxembourg...