After the last enlargement on May 1st 2004 member States have had the possibility to introduce transitional arrangements concerning the access to their labour markets by workers from eight New Member States. Workers from Malta and Cyprus did not fall under that exemption.
The first phase of these transitional arrangements ended on May 1st, 2006.
Paragraph 2 of point 3 of the country-specific annexes to the 2003 Act of Accession requires all EU-15 member States to notify the Commission 'no later than at the end of the two year period following the date of accession' (April 30th, 2006) whether they will continue applying national measures or measures resulting from bilateral agreements, or whether they will apply Community law on access to their labour markets. The annexes also state that in the absence of such notification by a particular Member State, Community law on free movement of workers shall apply in that Member State from 1 May 2006 onwards.
It appears from the Commission's statement that Spain, Finland, Greece and Portugal will lift the existing restrictions. France will lift some of its restrictions gradually. Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom don't have restrictions anyway and don't intend to introduce any new ones.