From the 01 May, 2011 on, the Labour market in Europe is open for the East-European member states which joined the EU in 2004: Poland, Hungaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Hundreds of thousand people are expected to search for better working conditions and higher salaries in the west, especially in Germany.
From the beginning of the month, the inhabitants of these countries can offer there labour force to employers in all member states of the EU. Largely, in Western European countries there is no minimum wage, making wage dumping very likely. Wages in the new EU countries have indeed already risen significantly since the inclusion in the European Union, but they are still nowhere near German level. Above all, because of the much lower social security and the labor shortage in these countries immigration will rise.
Good times for temporary work agencies which already have agreed co-operations between German and for example polish companies. Of course, well-trained workers needed urgently by German domestic industry to reduce labor costs are coming as well, leading to shortages of qualified workers in their countries of origin. Who then has worked a year in Germany has a right for lifelong social insurance payments by the government. The consequences have long been standard practice: lowering wages, unemployment, welfare cuts and social as well as ethnic conflicts.
There are for sure opportunities for a possible brain drain with highly qualified specialists attracted by the better economical and social situation in the west, but these situation will also lead to a lot of less qualified workers searching for benefits. And with the actual unemployment in Europe, it can be doubted that this can be compensated by the national labour markets.