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Symbolic boat trip on the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava

The event “Labour Market without Borders - All Together Now” celebrated the end of the transitional rules for labour mobility for the eight EU Member States that joined EU in 2004.  
Travelling east was a symbolic gesture which stated that this is not a one-way transaction with workers from the east to coming to the west. “We all benefit from mobility,” states Martha Rojas-Pineda, EURES Manager in Austria, who organised the event.  
The Eastern Member States of the EU was greeted into the complete freedom of movement of labour by a symbolic boat trip on the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava the 30th of April 2011.
From 1 May 2011, citizens from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia will no longer have to apply for work permits in the old EU Member States.
Distinguished guests from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Austria took part in this event.
“The full opening of labour market is very positively perceived by the Czech citizens. But the termination of transition periods will have rather have a psychological dimension than a practical matter since qualified Czech professional workers who wanted to work in Austria, already work there,” stated Štefan Duháň, Deputy General Director of the Czech Employment Service in the press conference organised before the boat trip.
”We are welcoming the neighbouring states into the free movement of labour which is one the pillars of the EU. Austria has made good use of the transition period and has over recent years gradually opened the labour market to qualified professionals such as nurses and metal workers, said Rudolf Hundstorfer, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour.
 “As wages and salaries are higher in Austria, it is expected that workers from regions that are close to the border will be interested in pursuing employment in Austria. Nevertheless, the opening of the labour market is not expected to lead to a major outflow of Slovenian workers to Austria, as employment depends mainly on
the demand from employers,” explained Lučka Žižek, General Director, National
Employment Service in Slovenia.
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