With the accession of Romania and Bulgaria, there has been a transitional period of seven years to limit the certain conditions. Those limitations refer to the free movement of workers and can be applied by the European member states. Now, Spain applied those restrictions to help their country out of the economic and labor crisis.
Due to the poor situation of the Spanish labour market, the European Commission agreed on the prolongation of the restrictions regarding Romanian as well as Bulgarian workers. But the restriction is only a temporary limitation to ease and loosen the tense situation of the Spanish and especially the Andalusian labor market. However, the restriction expires on December 31, 2013 and no further prolongation is admitted. Reason for this decision is the “Act of Accession” from Romania and Bulgaria of 2005. A specific clause allows member states to reintroduce restrictions concerning the exclusion of Romania and Bulgaria from their national labor market but only if there are serious problems and only if the European Commission agrees on the request of the member state.
On January 1, 2007, Bulgaria and Romania entered the European Union. Only two years later Spain opened up its labor market on the free movement of workers. Only two years later in 2009. Bulgarian and Romanian workers had the possibility to interact in the Spanish labor market until August 2011. Even though the Bulgarian and Romanian do not interact anymore, the situation of the Spanish labor market deteriorates further and further. The EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Integration László Andor searches for other reasonable causes. The political and economic crises have left their scars in Spain. But according to Andor, is the restriction of the Spanish labor market is not the right decision to improve the situation of the labor market and its high unemployment, especially the high unemployment of the youth. As a conclusion Andor adds that it is a must to observe the Spanish labor market in the following to add new restrictions or loosen the other ones to improve the situation.
Situation in Andalusia – Spain’s Poorhouse
There are over 8,4 million people living in Andalusia which makes it the biggest region in front of Catalonia and Madrid in Spain.The region has many problems caused by the economic crisis, like the whole country in general. It has to be said that Andalusia has the highest unemployment rate of over 30% in September 2011 and according to the National Public Employment Service’s Job Observatory in Cordoba the rate increased over 5% when compared to previous year. It is worth noting that women are especially affected.3 Out of the people who are between 16-25 years old there is a staggering unemployment rate of over 50%. This makes Andalusia the region with the worst rate out of the 27 European Member States.4 Compared to the average unemployment rate of 10,7% and youth unemployment rate of 23,4% in 2012. In 2007 the unemployment rate in Spain had an low of 8,3%, but since then the rate increased.5
Spain Unemployment Rate – Percentage of the Labor Force
Approaches to Improve the Spanish Labor Market
Unemployment in Spain by Ethnic Origin: Comparison of Romania and Spain.
In 2012, there were over 17% of Spain’s entire population who have Romanian roots with a tendency to increase. Referring to data from the European Union Labor Force Survey, there is a large number of Romanians who are unemployed.2 Indeed the unemployment of in Spain living Romanians is higher than the unemployment of the Spanish. Nevertheless, the bad management of the politics and the not-implementation into sustainable industries is a further serious drain on the economy.3
EURES The European Job Mobility Portal (2012): “Free movement: Spain”.
andaluz.tv (2012): „So kann es auch gehen!“.
EURES The European Job Mobility Portal (2012): “Labour market information, Spain – Andalucía”.
andaluz.tv (2012): „Cartama erhält 1,5 Mio. Euro aus Brüssel für Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassnahmen“.
andaluz.tv (2013): „Cadiz mit über 40% am schlimmsten betroffen“.
Written by Tina Isabel Braun, Tedi Marković, Ivana Mišura, Antonella Cassarà