The coalition agreement between the two parties that have won the most votes in Dutch elections in September will take some hard stances on immigration issues, including a decision not to lift labour market restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals before the end of 2013, reports in Dutch media said on October 30.
The treaties that govern Bulgarian and Romanian accession to the EU in 2007 provided for a seven-year transition period before nationals of those countries have full access to the labour markets of other EU member states.
While a number of countries in the EU and European Economic Area have lifted such restrictions – Ireland and Norway most recently this summer – the Netherlands are among those that plan to maintain the restrictions for the entire transition period.
The centre-right Liberal party of Mark Rutte, who is expected to stay on as prime minister, and centre-left Labour party, led by Diederik Samsom, won 41 and 38 seats in the Dutch parliament, respectively, at the elections held on September 12.
The two parties have now reached a coalition agreement that will pursue pro-European policies, with a side of austerity – the new cabinet will cut 16 billion euro in government spending in the health care, social security and education sectors.
(Photo of Mark Rutte, arriving for a meeting of the European Council in March, by the Council of the EU, via flickr.com)