luni, 13 ianuarie 2014

Romania's performance in the EU and the restrictions imposed on Romanian citizens in Belgium

The development of Romania's performance in the EU was held back by restrictions regarding the labour market imposed by Belgium (and other Member States) for seven years (2007-2013). As the restrictions were lifted as of 01/01/2014, Romanians can now take advantage of this and come to Brussels to work not only in the European institutions but also in the private sector.

Although Brussels seems a city that "floats above the member states", those who work in the capital of Europe are in fact subject to Belgian law. That includes any law regarding working permits – until January 2014 a requirement for Romanians.

The development of Romania's performance in the European Union was disrupted by extensions of transitional restrictions imposed by Belgium on the Romanian citizens for seven years. The lack of Romanian professionals in Brussels is felt mainly in the private sector of European affairs. There are approximately 100,000 people working in Brussels, in European affairs, with 50% working in the European institutions and 50% in the private sector.

Romanians are trained to work in the private sector for European Affairs, and even despite the restrictions there are already about 500 Romanians doing such work in multinational companies, industry federations, EU associations, media, lobbying companies and think tanks. Most, however, were humiliated in front of their colleagues, needing to apply to the Belgian authorities in the hope of obtaining a work permit for the respective year. Consequently, the activity of Romanians in Europe was disrupted by the issue of the right to work in Belgium. Romania lost enormously because of this blockage and it is our duty to report this favourable moment to Romanians and Romania.

According to the analyses, to further connect Romania to the EU, we need about 5,000 Romanians in Brussels and another 25,000 people in Romania actually involved in the community mechanism. We currently have only about 2,500 in Brussels and maximum 10,000 in Bucharest, mainly in the public sector.

In Brussels, the administrative capital of the EU, it should be increasingly easy Romanian to be involved not only in European public institutions, but also in the private sector. The administrative share of Romanian representation in EU institutions is almost fixed and can hardly move in the future, but via the private sector we can double our herd. Can you imagine the impact if we had 5,000 Romanians in Brussels, not only 2,500 like now?

I am engaged in European affairs for the last 20 years, and this is the first time when Romanians have the same chances for a job in Brussels like their European colleagues.

Dan LUCA / Brussels



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