Please note:
You are in the euro|topics archive. For current articles from the European press review, please go to

Home / Who's saying what / Who's saying what

Freedom of movement divides Europe

Workers from Bulgaria and Romania may settle wherever they like in the EU starting January. Countries like Germany and Britain fear a rise in poverty-related migration. Is the right to freedom of movement in Europe now in danger?

ABC - Spain | Thursday, 27. March 2014

Berlin too hyped in fight against poverty

The German federal cabinet in Berlin on Wednesday approved an interim report on how to deal with so-called "poverty migration" from East European EU member states. The document proposes setting a limit on the amount of time immigrants are allowed to stay in the country and seek a job. This violates European law, the conservative daily ABC criticises: » more

Dagens Nyheter - Sweden | Friday, 14. March 2014

EU must deal carefully with Roma problem

The Swedish police cleared an illegal Roma settlement in the Stockholm suburb of Helenelund on Thursday. But the problem of poverty-induced immigration calls for long-term solutions, the liberal daily Dagens Nyheter stresses: » more

Politiken - Denmark | Tuesday, 4. March 2014

Brussels must solve problems of free movement

In Denmark too, a debate has been raging over the past few weeks about the extent to which non-Danish EU citizens should be entitled to welfare services. The left-liberal daily Politiken puts the onus on the EU to provide an answer: » more

Večernji list - Croatia | Wednesday, 19. February 2014

British witch hunt against Romanians opens

At the start of the year the mayor of London Boris Johnson compared Romanian immigrants with Transylvanian vampires against whom the country was powerless. Johnson knew exactly what he was doing with these words, the conservative daily Večernji List comments: » more

Financial Times - United Kingdom | Monday, 13. January 2014

Let governments give priority to own citizens

In the debate over the free movement of workers across the EU, countries like the UK and Germany fear it will put too much strain on the social welfare systems. In the conservative daily Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman recommends breaking with the core European principle that all EU citizens must be treated equally: » more

Main focus of Wednesday, 8. January 2014

Migration debate: Tusk criticises Cameron

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has criticised the UK's approach to dealing with Eastern European labour migrants. He announced that he would make a telephone ... » more

Eesti Päevaleht - Estonia | Wednesday, 8. January 2014

East and West benefit from free movement

David Cameron's statements on migrant workers from Eastern Europe are nothing but populism, the liberal daily Eesti Päevaleht comments: » more

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Wednesday, 8. January 2014

Scapegoats for domestic problems

Cameron's plan to scrap child's benefit for immigrants to the UK when the children themselves still live in their home country is pure populism and an attempt to divert attention from domestic problems, the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza criticises: » more

The Daily Telegraph - United Kingdom | Tuesday, 7. January 2014

Fears of mass immigration understandable

More than 75 percent of British citizens want immigration to their country to be slowed down, according to the latest British Social Attitudes Survey. Columnist Iain Martin shows understanding for these sentiments in the conservative newspaper The Daily Telegraph: » more

Delfi - Lithuania | Monday, 6. January 2014

EU freedom of movement no longer works

The debate over Bulgarians and Romanians migrating to Western Europe to escape poverty is the result of a structural defect in the concept of EU freedom of movement for workers, migration expert Dainius Paukštė argues on the web portal Delfi: » more

24 Chasa - Bulgaria | Saturday, 4. January 2014

Doctors will leave Bulgaria

Bulgaria will have difficulty keeping its doctors and nurses in the country now that the EU labour market has been fully opened for Bulgarians and Romanians, the daily 24 Chasa fears: » more

Welt am Sonntag - Germany | Sunday, 5. January 2014

Wolfgang Scheida dismayed by "poverty immigration" debate

The debate in Germany about a potential wave of "poverty immigration" continues now that the free movement of workers for Romanians and Bulgarians has taken effect. Wolfgang Scheida, an ethnic German immigrant who grew up in Romania and is now a top editor with the conservative Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag, finds such talk unbearable: » more

Dilema Veche - Romania | Friday, 3. January 2014

Cameron exploiting dark mood

With populist campaigns against free movement of workers for Bulgarians and Romanians, politicians in the old EU member states are trying to conceal their own incompetence, the weekly magazine Dilema Veche criticises: » more

Main focus of Thursday, 2. January 2014

EU job market open for Romanians and Bulgarians

Brussels has spoken out in defence of the removal of the last labour market barriers for Romanians and Bulgarians on January 1. Obstacles for workers ... » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 2. January 2014

Europe suffering from schizophrenia

The panicked reaction of the British and the Germans to the free movement of workers is schizophrenic, the left-liberal daily La Repubblica concludes: » more - Bulgaria | Wednesday, 1. January 2014

Don't fear the archaic Bulgarians

The distrust of Bulgarians in countries like Britain and Germany also has a cultural explanation, the daily writes: » more

The Independent - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 1. January 2014

Eastern Europeans used as scapegoats

By cutting social benefits the British government hopes to prevent a supposed wave of immigration from Romania and Bulgaria. The left-liberal daily The Independent mocks all the negative hype: » more

El País - Spain | Thursday, 2. January 2014

Labour migrants boost the economy

British Prime Minister David Cameron is basing his battle against free movement of workers on false premises, the left-liberal daily El País surmises: » more

Trud - Bulgaria | Saturday, 21. December 2013

Bulgarians must earn the Britons' respect

The British government's measures aimed at hindering a wave of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants starting in 2014 are justified, the daily Trud writes. Instead of complaining about discrimination, the Bulgarians must first show that they are coming with honest intentions: » more

The Economist - United Kingdom | Thursday, 19. December 2013

Romanians and Bulgarians very welcome

For weeks British politicians and media have been fulminating against the right of Bulgarians and Romanians to seek work across the EU as of January 1. The liberal weekly business magazine The Economist takes the opposite stance in its editorial, in the form of an open letter to Romanians and Bulgarians: » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Tuesday, 10. December 2013

Stop the exploitation of labour migrants

The EU labour ministers agreed on Monday on stricter measures against the exploitation of labour migrants. A good start, the liberal daily De Volkskrant comments: » more

El País - Spain | Monday, 9. December 2013

Elections turn Europeans against Europeans

The British government wants to continue restricting the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania, which is supposed to apply as of January 1, 2014. With such steps Europe is shooting itself in the foot, the left-liberal daily El País comments: » more

Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | Friday, 6. December 2013

Restricting freedom of movement is pointless

Individual EU states may in certain cases be allowed to reintroduce visa restrictions for the citizens of Balkan states, the EU interior ministers decided at the behest of Germany and other countries on Thursday in Brussels. For the liberal daily Der Tagesspiegel, such restrictions of freedom of movement are pointless: » more

Daily Mail - United Kingdom | Thursday, 5. December 2013

Romanians not robbing British of their jobs

Romania's Minister of Labour Mariana Campeanu on Wednesday rejected accusations that her countrymen were taking away jobs from young Britons. As of 1 January 2014, free movement of workers within the EU will also apply to Bulgarians and Romanians. Columnist Max Hastings writes in The Daily Mail that the British should be glad that the Romanians do the jobs they themselves no longer want to do: » more

Duma - Bulgaria | Friday, 29. November 2013

Bulgaria disappointed and betrayed by the West

British Prime Minister David Cameron wants to limit the free movement of workers for Bulgarians and Romanians even after January 2014, and has now gained support from Paris and Berlin for this initiative. The daily newspaper Duma is deeply disappointed, and accuses the rich EU countries of discrimination: » more

Blog Biziday - Romania | Thursday, 28. November 2013

Cameron fuels xenophobia

The fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron wants to limit access to the British welfare system for non-British EU citizens is pure xenophobia aimed above all at Romanians and Bulgarians, business journalist Moise Guran writes on the blog Biziday: » more

Blog Gavin Hewitt's Europe - United Kingdom | Monday, 25. November 2013

Hard times an argument against free movement

British Prime Minister David Cameron is considering limiting the access of Romanians and Bulgarians to the UK's labour market even beyond 1 January 2014. He's certainly in a position to take on Brussels on this issue now, Gavin Hewitt, the BBC's Europe editor, writes on his blog: » more

Blog Biziday - Romania | Friday, 22. November 2013

London deliberately makes Romanians a problem

Starting January 1 2014, Romanians and Bulgarians will have free acces to the job market in all countries of the EU. Despite this deadline, the British Conservatives are pushing Prime Minister David Cameron to prolong job market restrictions in the UK for an additional five years. Business journalist Moise Guran takes a look at the bigger picture in his blog Biziday: » more

The Daily Telegraph - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 13. November 2013

Cameron must make case against immigration

Starting 2014, Romanians and Bulgarians will have free access to the job market across the EU. That could spark a new wave of immigration that would be too much for the UK and other EU members, the conservative paper The Daily Telegraph warns: » more

El País - Spain | Tuesday, 29. October 2013

Xenophobia from the heart of Europe

The British government has presented a new immigration law foreseeing a series of tougher measures against irregular immigration, which is to go into force in the spring of 2014. Xenophobia is becoming acceptable in Europe, the left-liberal daily El País fears: » more

The Times - United Kingdom | Tuesday, 15. October 2013

Nationalism won't solve Europe's problems

Marine Le Pen, president of the French Front National, and the Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders plan to meet in The Hague in November to discuss cooperation in the 2014 European elections. The conservative daily The Times warns of an unholy alliance: » more

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Friday, 8. March 2013

No to Schengen accession is right decision

Blocking the Schengen accession may not be nice, but it is necessary, the liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung contends: » more

El País - Spain | Friday, 1. February 2013

London's hypocritical protectionism

According to media reports, the British government is planning to block the access of workers from Romania and Bulgaria to certain social and healthcare services. The background to this is the fear of a wave of immigration when Romanians and Bulgarians gain unlimited access to the British labour market in 2014. This discrimination would be hypocritical as well as illegal, the left-liberal daily El País maintains: » more

Metropol - Hungary | Wednesday, 14. November 2012

Migration cuts unemployment in Eastern Europe

Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians have emigrated to the West in recent years in search of work. In the case of Romania and Poland, the figures rise into the millions. For the free paper Metropol this exodus is one explanation for why the jobless rate is comparatively low in these countries: » more

România Liberâ - Romania | Tuesday, 16. October 2012

Europe's conservatives can inspire Romania

The European People's Party (EPP) will convene for a two-day congress in Bucharest on Wednesday to decide its political course for the coming ten years. A good 1,200 participants from 40 countries are expected to attend, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso. The conservative daily Romania Libera hopes there will be clear signals for Romania: » more

Tages-Anzeiger - Switzerland | Monday, 3. September 2012

Swiss should turn away jobseeking immigrants

In an interview with the Swiss daily the Tages-Anzeiger, the head of the Swiss Federal Office for Immigration, Mario Gattiker, said that a growing number of unemployed EU citizens from the crisis-stricken countries of Southern and Eastern Europe are seeking jobs in Switzerland. In view of the economic risks this poses, the liberal daily calls for a blockade: » more

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Friday, 20. April 2012

Border controls endanger idea of Europe

According to media reports, Germany and France are considering reintroducing short-term border controls should they conclude that the European borders in the south and south-east are inadequately monitored. But such ideas only reinforce anti-European sentiment, warns the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung: » more

Correio da Manhã - Portugal | Tuesday, 29. November 2011

France endangers worker mobility

The French Interior Minister Claude Guéant said on Sunday in an interview that too many legal immigrants come to France. With an eye to the more than 500,000 Portuguese living in France, the tabloid Correio da Manhã sees Guéant's statement as an attack on the free movement of workers within the EU: » more

Jyllands-Posten - Denmark | Friday, 13. May 2011

Europe's hysteria over border controls

On Denmark's initiative 15 of 27 EU interior ministers approved a revision of the Schengen Agreement on Thursday in Brussels. The conservative daily Jyllands-Posten finds the criticism of the reintroduction of border controls somewhat hysterical: » more


© Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung

Other content