Aficionados of Italy fall at the first hurdle

April 19, 1996

I wish to draw your attention to a particularly absurd example of Italian protectionism with respect to the European labour market. Among the special hoops that foreign (EU) applicants must jump through in order to apply for one of the recently advertised posts of associate professor are the following: the signature on the letter of application of any "non-resident" foreigner must be "authenticated" by a "a civil servant, in the applicant's home country, whose legitimate purpose it is to do so";

the signature of that civil servant must in turn be "authorised" by the "competent authority" in the home country; and the signature of that "authority" must in turn be "legalised" at the Italian consulate. The disincentive created by this bureaucratic nightmare, together with the prospect of a trip "home" for all applicants who live in Italy without official "residence" (which is not required by either EU or Italian law), is surely tantamount to a restriction of the free movement of labour.

IAN CARTER Department of Political and Social Studies University of Pavia Italy

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