Italian prime minister Mario Monti speaks during his year-end news conference in Rome, December 29 2011.
Italy is to remove all restrictions on access to its labour market by Bulgarians and Romanians as of January 1 2012.
In a joint statement in Sofia, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov and Labour Minister Totyu Mladenov welcomed Italy’s decision.
Italy was the 17th member country of the EU, which, in accordance with the principle of free movement of EU citizens, had terminated restrictive measures on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to the relevant labour market that were in effect during a transitional period, the joint statement said.
"The decision complies fully with the positions repeatedly expressed by the main European institutions, the European Commission and European Parliament. We believe that the removal of restrictions will contribute to better functioning of the EU single market.
"The decision is an indication of the excellent bilateral relations and well-established strategic partnership between Bulgaria and Italy," the joint statement said.