Germany May Tighten Immigration Rules For EU Nationals

By Editorial 28 March, 2014

A Federal Government panel in Germany has proposed limiting the amount of time jobseekers from elsewhere in the European Union can stay in the country if they fail to find work, as part of a range of measures to manage immigration.

The proposal appears in an interim report from a Committee of State Secretaries, details ofwhich were explained to the media by Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizère. The Committee suggests that migrants should have to find work within three to six months to remain in the country, and that there should be re-entry bans on individuals deported for welfare fraud.

However, the Minister said that the growth in immigration to Germany from other European countries was "good news." Non-German EU citizens make up just 5 percent of welfare recipients in Germany, and the jobless rate among Bulgarians and Romanians is just 7 percent, half the German average. De Maizère stressed that the majority of migrants pay taxes, but added there were also some problems that needed to be tackled before they became more significant.

In particular, the report highlights problems of integration in some urban areas, with some immigrant children not attending school due to inability to speak German, and migrants without health insurance needing urgent medical attention. The German Government plans to provide extra support for municipalities as regards infrastructure, integration courses, and language support, and to provide vaccination for children.

Speaking to the media, Deputy Interior Minister Guenter Krings acknowledged the EU principle of free movement for workers, but argued that in cases where an immigrant has no chance of gaining employment, "the necessary prerequisites for free movement are not fulfilled."

The Committee's final report will be published in June.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, Poles make up the largest number of EU immigrants in Germany, followed by Romanians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians. Transitional restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians came to an end at the start of 2014.

Tags: Individuals | Tax | Insurance | Bulgaria | Romania | Germany | Expats | Immigration | Working Abroad | Europe | Work | Working Abroad | Immigration | Working Abroad |


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