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Abstract

This paper questions the necessity and legitimacy of transitional arrangements in the field of free movement of workers imposed on the ten Central and Eastern European states which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. It addresses the issue of free movement of labour in the enlarged Union in the context of the policy reasoning behind such transitional arrangements. Present transitional periods are contrasted with other solutions (such as allowing immigration quotas), which would have been politically fairer and psychologically wiser in confronting the arguments on the divide between ‘first class’ and ‘second class’ EU membership. The paper suggests that the results of the most recent studies, showing that the fears of the old Member States were mostly unfounded and that economic and social benefits result from the free movement of workers in the EU, should be taken into consideration for the next enlargement.