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Netherlands – Fear of Romanian and Bulgarian worker ‘tsunami’ unrealised

13 January 2014

The Netherlands has not witnessed the ‘tsunami’ of Romanians and Bulgarians predicted by Minister Asscher following the complete lifting of restrictions on the two EU Member States, reports gelderlander.nl. From 1st January, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria have been able to work without restrictions across the European Union.

The Dutch Minister of Social Affairs, Lodewijk Asscher, wrote an article for the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant in August 2013, warning that a ‘Code Orange’ needed to be issued. Such an alarm is usually issued when river waters reach an alarmingly high level.    

According to gelderlander.nl, in West Brabant there were 142 Romanians and 31 Bulgarians registered with a Zundert-based agriculture company on the 31 December 2013. During the first two weeks of 2014, the company registered 10 Romanian workers and none from Bulgaria.

A company spokeswoman said: “We do not expect a shocking rush.” 

Several Dutch recruitment agencies, including Randstad have advised that there has been minimal demand from Romanian and Bulgarian workers.

These findings reflect the the initial assessment of László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, who said that Western Europe was unlikely to experience a large influx because three million Bulgarians and Romanians had already settled in other EU countries. 

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