Croatia joins the EU today (July 1)

The EU now has 28 member states.  Citizens of Croatia now have a right of free movement in all EEA member states (and the odd-ball Switzerland).  They cannot be required to answer questions about the purpose of their travels, and only in extreme situations can they be refused initial entry.

What if a Croatian citizen wants to work in one of the other 27 member states?

Self-employed Croatians and students who are working only part-time should have no problems, though the devil is in the details.

Several member states are putting initial restrictions on other Croatian workers: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom will impose restrictions on Croatians doing certain kinds of work.   There is no restriction on searching for work done in the initial 3 months of residence.

Ten member states have announced that they will not impose any restrictions on Croatian job seekers: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

In a clear and thoughtful analysis, the Irish DJEI says that Ireland will not impose restrictions on Croatians working in Ireland:

Based on the evidence available, Forfás concludes that it is unlikely that Croatia’s entry to the EU will have a significant distortionary [sic] impact on the Irish labour market and recommended that transitional arrangements should not be applied in the case of Croatian nationals seeking to work in Ireland following Croatia’s accession to the EU.

In light of all these issues, Government has decided not to exercise an option under the Treaty to restrict access to Ireland’s labour market for nationals of Croatia.

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  • gbmillion  On July 1, 2013 at 09:46

    Note also that, while not yet a Schengen member, Croatia has granted temporary exemption from the need to obtain a visa for holders of a Schengen visa. This exemption is only for the year 2013. Presumably they will renew it annually until they enter the Schengen Agreement. This exemption will obviate the previous nightly purge of travellers with a Schengen visa going by rail from Budapest to Venice who unwittingly found themselves in Croatian territory and were turfed off the train at midnight at the Hungarian border.

  • Andreas Moser  On July 2, 2013 at 15:56

    Does Croatia impose any restrictions on other EU citizens?
    I’d love to move there, as a sort of welcoming gesture into the EU.

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