France to open job market to east European countries

28th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Foreign minister says the move that will be implemented in the coming months is a year ahead of schedule.

28 May 2008

PRAGUE - France will open its job market to citizens of the eight central and eastern European countries that joined the European Union in 2004 in the coming months, almost a year in advance, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said here Tuesday.

"This will be done a year ahead of schedule, these countries will soon be able to increase their hunting grounds," Kouchner said during a meeting with French journalists.

President Nicolas Sarkozy should officially announce the step during his visit to Warsaw on Wednesday or at the end of the week in Vienna, the minister said, confirming reports of the move published Monday in the French business newspaper Les Echos.

The move should take place during France's EU presidency during the second half of 2008 benefitting the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia.

Lithuania. Slovakia and Slovenia, according to information received in Prague.

A work permit for citizens from these countries will still be required.

Workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU on 1 January 2007 will still be subject to temporary limits.

Paris originally expected to open its jobs market to citizens from central and eastern Europe in May 2009. It retained temporary barriers to workers from these countries after its EU partners Britain, Sweden and Ireland abolished them.

[AFP / Expatica]

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