Workers from the Western Balkans can reapply for jobs in Germany after the forced pause caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As confirmed by Dominik Ehrentraut, Deputy Chief Spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Germany, practically all restrictions have been lifted since 4 July on employment programmes for Balkan workers.
“Due to the pandemic, the German Ministry of the Interior had also restricted entry from third countries at the EU level. These restrictions were first lifted for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 4 July and there are no longer any restrictions for any of the 6 Western Balkan countries. However, the restrictions can be re-introduced at any time, depending on how the pandemic evolves,” Ehrentraut explained.
As for the Western Balkans Rule, he explained that it has never been repealed, especially since, as he pointed out, it was extended again for a period of three years at the beginning of the year, i.e. until the end of December 2023. “This rule also covers Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the only change from the previous Rule is the introduction of a limit of 25,000 workers from all Western Balkan countries, including Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia,” Ehrentraut added.
As it was explained, considering that the pandemic is still ongoing, German employers cannot estimate the needs of the labour market in the coming months at this time.
Furthermore, Germany pays great attention to the Mini Schengen initiative, which aims to keep workers in the region and create a common regional market, so that the region can be more easily integrated into the EU. In this regard, a few days ago, all three possible candidates for the post of chancellor of Germany after Merkel’s departure, including those that are members of the Social Democrats and the Green Party, confirmed that they will support and continue to work on the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.
As before, Western Balkan workers need to provide a proof that a German employers wants to hire them before starting work in Germany.
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