Antonis Kastrissianakis, Director of Employment Strategy with the European Commission, has said that unemployment in the new EU member states will remain high and largely structural following EU enlargement.
“Labour productivity in the new member states is just half that of the current member states, and as a result more jobs is not enough.
“We need better and more productive jobs. There are too many working poor in some member states and we need to reverse the decline in productivity growth," he said.
Mr Kastrissianakis was speaking at a forum jointly hosted by recruitIreland.com and solicitors Ronan Daly Jermyn (RDJ).
Entitled 'The Irish and EU Labour Market: What changes to expect after May 1st 2004', the forum was attended by almost 200 human resources and recruitment professionals.
Mr Kastrissianakis has responsibility for developing employment policies and promoting the creation of more and better jobs in the union as a whole.
He briefed delegates on the situation for workers in existing member states and their social security rights, and on workers' mobility rights under the transitional phases in 2006, 2009 and 2011.