Monday, December 22, 2008

Romanian FM point of view concerning the London authorities decision on the prolongation of the labour force restrictions for Romania and Bulgaria

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took note of the London authorities' decision to maintain the restrictions concerning the access of Romanian and Bulgarian labour force on Great Britain's labour market and expresses its deep disappointment with respect to this measure.

The MFA considers that the prolongation of restrictions opposes the principle of the Lisbon Strategy, whose objectives, approved both by Great Britain and by Romania, are intended to create a greater number of working places and the removal of obstructions that restrict even now the workers mobility within the Union.

In the MFA's approach, no Romanian pressure on Great Britain's labour market is estimated, which should justify the undertaking of protection measures.

This morning, the state secretary Raduta Matache has also presented the Romanian authorities' point of view during a meeting at MFA with Great Britain's ambassador in Bucharest, Robin Barnett, a meeting during which the latter gave information concerning the decision of British authorities. The British ambassador declared that the next reassessment of the decision would be on December 2009 and informed that the number of working places annually provided for the Romanian citizens in the plan of agricultural casual labourers would increase from 16,250 to 21,250.

Great Britain's ambassador mentioned that the decision was not aimed against Romanian citizens, strictly originating in the internal economic situation, related to the worldwide economic and financial crisis, and emphasized the exceptional Romanian-British cooperation in all domains, including the police and juridical ones.

The Romanian state secretary showed that statistics indicate that there was a small number of Romanian citizens in Great Britain, approximately 1% of the total amount of foreign citizens in this country and drew attention to the positive contribution that such citizens bring to the economic development of the country of residence.

At the same time, Raduta Matache mentioned the Romanian citizens' increasing tendency of returning in Romania, as well as the governmental policies of encouraging such a process.

Both parties agreed that the common objective of Romania and Great Britain, both bilaterally and within the EU and NATO, is still the promotion of a close partnership. The two parties will act together with the purpose of maximizing the multiple cooperation opportunities, so that the decision concerning the access on the labour market should not affect the development of Romanian-British relationship.

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