The Member of the European Parliament Bilyana Raeva visited Gabrovo on Friday for the European information network Europe Direct opening. A day earlier, at a sitting of ALDE members of the Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs, a decision has been taken, that Bilyana Raeva should be the reporter in shade onelaboration of the undeclared jobs combating position of the European Parliament. We initiated a discussion with Bilyana Raeva concerning the labor market balance in our country.
- Ms Raeva, could you explain for the readers of “100 news” the meaning of the expression “reporter in shade”?
- The reporter in shade is the person to coordinate the positions of the different political groups in the European Parliament /EP/ on the preparation of certain documents – resolution, report on some legislative initiative, etc. As a rule, the EP committees are preparing their positions and the political groups are consolidating them, so that the positions proposed by the Socialists, by ENP, by the Liberals, in the form of amendments, modifications, supplements to the relevant text should be balanced and agreed upon in advance. When voting in Plenary we have to be sure, that no Frankenstein is going to appear from nowhere and spoil the opportunity of the relevant text to be adopted. The role of the reporter in shadow is to negotiate with all the political groups when the legislative texts amendments are under preparation, to achieve their synchronization in advance and do so, that they are adopted. Sometimes the modification is a matter of a single comma, another time the amendment is more significant. Generally this is an intensive process. Sometimes it goes on full speed, but the reverse gear should have to be used too. All this goes on, until consensus is reached, which could take a long period of making a lot of contacts, discussions, persuasions, compromises.
- As EP deals with the undeclared jobs, does it mean that “grey sector” exists in the European Union Member States too?
- The undeclared jobs definition of the Economic Committee at the European Parliament and of the European Council is: “any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to the public authorities, taking into account differences in the regulatory system between Member States This definition including a lot of activities – to begin with the household work performed informally is reaching to the work “on the black market”, performed by illegal immigrants. In other words it puts the sign of equation between the undeclared employment and tax evasions or social and health insurance evasion. The undeclared work is a phenomenon determined by a vast specter of economic, social, institutional and cultural peculiarities. The EP Economic Committee is going to focus upon the relevant measures against the negative impact of this phenomenon upon the economic growth, the budget policy and the social policy of the Member States.My share to the elaboration of EP position on of the undeclared jobs position is a logical completion of my work as a reporter in shade on health and safety at work strategy, on Europe demographic strategy – at last it has been voted for on Thursday /February 21st 2008/ by the EP. I feel extremely satisfied, as the Demographic strategy includes a lot of passages and amendments that I have tabled. As far as work force legalization is concerned, Europe also witnesses a large number of illegal immigrants. Principally immigration is considered to be something that EU needs. Hence it is the illegal immigration to be stopped, but chances should be given to the immigrants already living in Europe to be legalized and to take part in the labor market. More and more the EU Member states feel thirst for labor force. Working people are needed and they should be working under normal and healthy working conditions, should be paying their social insurance, their taxes – i.e., should be true participants to this labor market. This complies with the interests of the employers, of the European taxpayers and of the workers.
- As regarding the time limits set by EU for the Bulgarian citizens’ rights of mobility and settlement to other states, are they going to have a negative impact on the legal presence of Bulgarians in Europe?
- Bulgaria should observe the 7-years transition period, which is recommendable in case Bulgaria does not fulfill the Treaty of accession commitments. It is obvious that Bulgaria does not threat Europe with an enormous emigration wave of criminals and thieves. For this reason the barriers are falling down permanently. The Bulgarian constructors, agricultural workers are welcomed everywhere. Our scientists are welcomed too. And we have to create proper conditions for our qualified workers to stay in Bulgaria, instead of emigrating.
- Where is the balance to make our highly qualified experts remain in our country on one side, and to avoid causing damage to the Bulgarian work force by opening the gates for the import of workers with lower qualification?
- I have trust in the free and invisible hand of the market. Nobody can stop people from leaving the country, as it was happening in the past. The regulatory process is carried out by the realization opportunities available in Bulgaria and they could convince a Bulgarian citizen with university diploma, with higher qualification to remain in the country. Personally I have nothing against taxi driving as a job, but in case a Bulgarian citizen with two university diplomas and with a nanotechnology qualification drives taxi cab in Bulgaria, he is going to loose his advantages very quickly as well as his opportunity to practice one day his hi-tech profession because he will be lagging behind. Therefore I am taking for granted that a highly qualified expert should leave abroad. The point is that something has to be done to convince him to choose Bulgaria. This may happen only in case better working places are offered and this is in the power of the employers, of the government, of the European government with its institutions. It is because investments create the working places, not magic wand. And the investments go there, where better conditions exist.