Маленькие лидеры ЕС

Провал Конституционного соглашения ЕС на референдумах во Франции и Нидерландах, кажется, привел к новому консенсусу на предмет того, что дальнейшее расширение Союза нужно замедлить или даже остановить. Сторонники этой позиции считают, что избиратели ЕС напуганы последствиями расширения, произошедшего в мае 2004 года, когда к Евросоюзу присоединились восемь бывших коммунистических государств, и раздражены тем, что с ними об этом не посоветовались.

Одна группа опасений касается рынка труда – так называемый вопрос «польских водопроводчиков». Если верить этой интерпретации, произошел подрыв уровня заработной платы и потеря рабочих мест из-за притока малоквалифицированных и низкооплачиваемых работников из Центральной Европы. Конкретные случаи, типа ликвидации рабочих мест по обработке и упаковке мяса в Германии или вопроса временных рабочих во Франции, широко обсуждались как свидетельство новой угрозы.

Но на самом деле «польский водопроводчик» как пугало не выдерживает критики. Во-первых, и до расширения уже существовал значительный приток работников. Поляки работали на некоторых видах сельскохозяйственных работ – на уборке сахарной свеклы и винограда – даже в коммунистическую эпоху. С падением «железного занавеса» в 1989 году поток рабочей силы, и законный, и незаконный, намного увеличился.

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