Open Euro borders and Slovak migration
- After Slovakia and other post-communist countries joined the European
Union, only Britain, Ireland and Sweden allowed their citizens free
access to their labor markets. The other countries have decided to
delay free labor movement from the new members for up to 7 years
allowed now by the European Union. No such restricitions applied to
any new members admitted to the EU in the past.
Below are snippets from the first British report on the results of
London's decision, which says that the Slovaks were the third largest
group among the immigrants from the new EU members.
votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
x x x
In the run-up to the EU enlargement, a series of British newspapers
ran stories warning of an influx of Eastern European immigrants eager
to claim state benefits in Britain.
However, virtually all the newcomers have come to work, and only a
tiny percentage was seeking state aid.
According to research commissioned by the British governmnet, 176,000
people from the so-called "A8" states entered Britain between May 1,
2004, when the EU expanded to 25 nations, and the end of March this
The incomers -- 56% of whom were Polish, with Lithuanians and Slovaks
the next most numerous -- contributed around 910 million dollars to
the British economy over the 11-month period.
Individuals from the new member states make up just over 0.4% of the
total working age population and there is little evidence of a
widespread impact on employment, unemployment or wages.