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Workers from EU-member states have had priority over non-EU workers from their date of entry into the EU. That is the outcome of a decision of the Breda District Court on July 24, 2015.

A home owner hired 2 Romanians to paint his house and was fined because no work permit had been granted. The court rescinded the imposed fine with a ground-breaking argument. Since the Council of State had previously ruled that Japanese nationals may have free access to the labor market, the same should be applicable to Romanians, who entered the EU in 2007.

The court’s decision could have major consequences, as the Netherlands, in past years, has delayed the free movement of worker’s from new member states for the maximum period of 7 years. Delay of the free movement also applied to workers from Bulgaria, who joined the EU at the same time as Romania, in 2007 and to Poland, who joined earlier, in 2004. Also Croatia, who has been a member since July 1, 2013, is still excluded from the Netherlands job market.

On July 28, 2015, the Council of State addressed the case of several building companies and their assignors, supported by Everaert Advocaten. An appeal was launched regarding the priority that EU-workers should have over workers from non EU-countries. These cases have caught the attention of various media.

Rulings of the Council of State can be expected in approximately 6 weeks. If they find that the European rules are not clear about this, the Council of State must pose questions to the European Court of Justice and the outcome of that could be as long as 1 and ½ years in coming.

Read the news report from the Breda Court. (in Dutch)

On July 29. 2015, Trouw newspaper devoted their front page to the news. (in Dutch)

For more information, please contact Bram van Melle

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