The present enlargement process of the European Union not only creates hopes but also fears. Concerns about the stability of labor markets lead to the question whether the rights of workers from newly admitted countries could and should be restricted. This is the starting point of the essay which summarizes the transition regulations used in the context of prior enlargements of the European Community and the European Union. It investigates in detail the normative framework for these regulations, taking into account the reforms resulting from the Treaty of Amsterdam. Is it really true that amendments to the Treaties are not restricted in any way? Or do transition regulations need justification depending on how much they interfere with fundamental principles of the European Union?