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End of restrictions on free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania

The last restrictions on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania were lifted on 1 January 2014. Bulgarian and Romanian citizens are now able to fully exercise their right to work in all EU countries without a work permit.

In fact, Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have already been free to work without restrictions in 19 countries that were not applying transitional measures and have of course been enjoying the right to travel and reside in all Member States since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007. As a result there are over 3 million people from Bulgaria and Romania already living in other Member States and it is unlikely that there will be any major increase following the ending of the final restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

The free movement of people has been one of the cornerstones of EU integration and of the EU's Single Market. This right is one of the most cherished by Europeans, with over 14 million of them studying, working or retiring in another Member State. In fact, free movement is the right that people associate most closely with EU citizenship.

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