EU court calls Germany to change visa regime for non-EU workers

The EU's highest court ruled Thursday that the restrictive German system allowing non-EU nationals to work in Germany was illegal. The requirement of at least a year's employment at the foreign company sending the worker to Germany is "disproportionate" in ensuring social welfare protection or preventing "social dumping," the European Court of Justice said. It said better legislation on minimum wages for temporary workers could also ensure that. "The court concludes that Germany has infringed the provisions on the freedom to provide services," the court said in a statement. The court action had been brought by the EU's executive Commission. The court's decision means Germany will have to change the system, but it did not impose a specific solution. Germany and France have resisted plans designed to make it easier for companies to operate across borders by allowing them to apply the regulations of their homeland. The two nations argue that it will allow companies from countries with low taxes and weaker social protection rules to undercut rivals in other EU nations with higher taxes and more stringent labor laws. Those resisting the change use the term "social dumping." Others, however, see the services legislation as crucial to plans to revive Europe's sluggish economy, reports the AP. N.U.