Labor Market: Does Germany Benefit from Balkan Immigrants? / Migration debate in Germany

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Series Details 07.01.14
Publication Date 07/01/2014
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A debate over whether Germany profits from Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants has flared up since the EU opened its labour market to these workers, and the final transitional restrictions came to an end on the 31 December 2013. Statisticians were struggling to come up with conclusive evidence on either side of the argument.

The German government established a new committee on the 8 January 2014 to investigate the effects of immigration and free movement on the Federal Republic. The resolution came amid rising conflict within the ruling coalition over so-called 'poverty immigration' from Bulgaria and Romania and complaints from overburdened cities.

A leading German newspaper reported that the European Commission considered Germany's rules on migrant welfare claims to be illegal under EU law. The EU Commission denied on the same day that it wanted Germany to open its social welfare system to unemployed EU immigrants.

On 13 January 2014, the EU Commission released guidelines on social benefit eligibility, calling debate as 'misguided'. However, MPs from the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) were not convinced.

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Spiegel Online International, 14.01.14: Welfare for Immigrants: EU Wants Fortress Germany to Open Up
EurActiv, 16.01.14: Germany's CDU sceptical of EU plan to rein in ‘benefit tourism’

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