Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-186"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the free movement of workers is one of the most important fundamental European rights. The possibility for workers to move freely is important for both the employees and businesses alike. The free movement of workers ensures competitiveness and the constant growth of the Union at the same time, yet it cannot be detached from the question of social security. In terms of the social security network the does not permit discrimination between employees on the basis of their nationality. One of the most important objectives of the Union that has now been enlarged to 25 Members is to significantly increase its competitiveness, and by doing so, to keep abreast with its most important challengers, the US and Japan. The Lisbon Strategy that was created in 2000 covers this, and this objective must play a key role in the near future in national legislation and also in the European Parliament. However, we can only implement the Lisbon Strategy successfully if we significantly increase both the rate of employment and the mobility of the workforce. Unfortunately, during the last few months, this quite promising process has run aground, and the voices of those who, on the basis of some irrational fear, want to delay the free movement of workers have become louder. We have all seen the labour market surveys that deal with the expected movement of workers from the ten new Member States. These data show that barely one per cent of those in active employment expect to find employment in other Member States during the next few years. The panic is, therefore, completely unfounded, the new member countries, including Hungary, will of course comply with the provisions of the accession agreement, but rightfully expect that the limitations of the labour market will not be born out of crass prejudice and fear. Provisions made in respect of the stability of individual countries must always be based on specific surveys, and the question of the expected migration of workers from the new Member States must be addressed on an individual basis. We object on principle to the approach that does not differentiate between the new Member States. It is in Europe’s mutual interest to make optimum use of the trained workforce and the strategic advantages offered by the flexibility of the labour market, and on this basis to become the fastest growing region in the world."@en1

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