LO Will Close Norwegian Border for New EU Citizens

Once Croatia becomes EU member on 1 July, LO wants a transitional arrangement for seven years.

The cause of the confederation’s resistance is that immigration from countries pushes Norwegian working life low, writes newspaper Vårt Land.

The experience with the incorporation of ten Eastern European countries in 2004 and 2007 made LO more skeptical. 

The transitional arrangement proposed by LO in a letter to the coalition government will lead to Norway to close the borders for the new EU member, Croats for up to seven years. They would not obtain the same opportunities as other EU citizens.

– We ask for a transitional period to control. The employees shall come under decent wages and working conditions, and they should not be risked for being exposed to social dumping, says Tor-Arne Solbakken, deputy of LO.

But the organization’s proposal is not supported from the employer organizations. Both Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and  Enterprise Federation of Norway (Virke) argued that a transitional arrangement only leads to increased paper work. The organizations also notes that the experience of EU enlargement in 2004 shows that such schemes do not lead to any restriction of immigration.

Norway’s relations with the EU are based on the EEA Agreement, and free movement of labor.

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