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The Fundación Secretariado Gitano considers a backward step in terms of human rights the new work permit set by the Spanish Government for Romanian citizens [editar]

28/07/2011

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On July 22, the Ministry of Labour and Immigration passed an instruction amending the legal conditions for the residence of Romanian workers in our country: re-establishing the transitional period and several limitations on work market access for Romanian employees. The Government embraces a safeguard clause in the Act concerning the conditions of accession of Romania and the adjustments of the Treaties of the EU, limiting the regime of free movement of employees coming from Romania to Spain in vigour since 2009. This measure is seen as temporary and will be reviewed at the end of 2012.

In concrete terms, this measure implies that all those Romanian citizens who want to work in Spain as an employee will have to previously apply for an authorization and for which an employment contract will be required. This does not apply to those Romanians who, prior to July 22, 2011 have been working in Spain, are receiving the unemployment subsidy or are enrolled in the job search institute INEM.

The Government justifies this measure to "the existence of serious disturbances" in the labour market " which may seriously jeopardize the level of living or level of employment in a given region or occupation." However, there seems that there is no available data indicating that the Romanian citizens are causing this situation.

The European Commission, which has already expressed its doubts about the measure and motivation, will rule shortly on whether the reintroduction of the requirement of work permits for Romanian citizens is correct or whether it contradicts the Accession Treaty signed with that country.

From the FSG we believe that such action is not justified since it presupposes enough damage to the Spanish labour market blaming and reinforcing the idea that the Romanian people comes to Spain to steal job positions to the Spaniards.

It also implies a clear limitation of the right of free movement within the EU for all citizens of a country of the European Union, Romania, generating second-class EU citizens who do not enjoy the same rights as the rest of the European citizens, this treatment can lead to situations of discrimination. It is, therefore, a reversal of rights for Romanian citizens.

This measure has direct implications in the interventions of the FSG with Romanian Roma for several years in various Spanish cities within the Acceder program as well as with other programs aimed at improving the living conditions and social inclusion of this group in our country. If until now the Romanian Roma have had difficulties in accessing the labour market (shortage of jobs offers, discrimination by employers, lack of professional qualification ...), this new measure will only impede, even more, their chances of achieving a job and therefore, access to a decent living.

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