Barriers to free movement of workers around Europe continue to fall as three new members, Britain, Denmark and the Irish Republic prepare to join the European Economic Community on January the first.
Barriers to free movement of workers around Europe continue to fall as three new members, Britain, Denmark and the Irish Republic prepare to join the European Economic Community on January the first. But if the trend of recent years continues, enlargement of the Common Market is unlikely to set off a flood of workers across national frontiers.
In theory, the community's expansion offers a great opportunity for the unemployed in some countries to move to where the work is without hindrance... but in practice there are several reasons why this is unlikely to happen. Differences in customs and language have already caused truckle in come areas, notably Holland where Turkish immigrate were the target for rioting Dutch youths.
While such problems are not likely to be so severe among workers moving from one Common Market country to another, housing, for example, can be even more of a worry in a strange land than in one's own country.
And because the economies of EEC members are tending to develop along similar lines, about shortages and surpluses are tending to become similar in all the member states.
In many professions, a person's qualifications still do not necessarily allow him to practice in other countries. Nevertheless, in cities such as Brussels -- where there is already an influx of foreign workers -- immigrants are readily making themselves at home. And in many cease, their customs and way are becoming part and parcel of the host nation's day-to-day life.
SYNOPSIS: Barriers to free movement of workers around Europe continue to fall as Britain, Denmark and the Irish Republic join the European Economic Community in January.
But enlargement of their community is unlikely to bring a flood of workers across national frontiers.
One reasons is that the economies of member nations are tending to develop along similar line.s so labour requirements are likely to be such the same all over. Labour shortages which do occur are most often in low grade jobs and are usually filled by workers from outside the Community.
But bring in large numbers of such workers has already caused problems... notably in Holland where Dutch youths went on the rampage after immigrant Turkish landlords evicted Dutch tenants to make room for more Turks.
Housing is a major problem in most countries, and can be worse if you don't speak the language.
But much has been done to ease the problems faced by migrants social welfare benefits are reciprocal and families moving around Europe find they enjoy similar rights wherever they go. When pensions, insurance or similar schemes are effected by length of service for example, all periods and contributions are taken into account in all countries.
Recent statistics show that the freedom of labour movement has only really affected Italy to any great extent... but even this isn't new; in 1961, long before the free movement was really working, by far the largest percentage of European migrant workers were Italian.
Germany has two and a half million foreign workers yet still some industrialists face a major crisis because the demand for labour far exceeds the supply. But politicians are becoming fearful of the strain on social services and Chancellor Willy Brandt has warned that the totals can't be arbitrarily increased.
But at the seat of the Common Market.. Brussels, the scene is becoming more and more international... massive hotels are springing up, restaurants and beer-houses for all nationalities abound and there's go lack of international entertainment.
Ireland got the green light to restrict immigration for five years because of a massive unemployment situation at home, but her citizens are free to work, live and play where they chose in Europe.
Britains settling in Belgium have set about establishing the European Citizen idea with a will... Recently they marched in the streets in support of their wish to ban traffic from a central city square... they felt that the traffic spoiled the view.