Croatian nationals free on Dutch labor market
The Dutch government lifts restrictions for Croatian employees per July 1st, 2018
25 June 2018
Following the accession of Croatia to the European Union (EU) on the 1st of July 2013, the EU member states agreed to implement a transitional period of 7 years during which certain conditions may be applied that restrict free movement of workers from and to Croatia. In 2013, the Netherlands opted to impose reciprocal transitional arrangements on the free movement of workers, necessitating Croatian nationals to be in possession of a work permit in order to engage in working activities.
On the 8th of June 2018, the Dutch government announced that the temporary restrictions on the free movement of labour for Croatians end as of the 1st of July 2018. The Dutch government, in a letter to the Dutch parliament, concluded that Croatian nationals do not cause a severe distortion, or threat thereof, to the Dutch labor market and decided that Croatian nationals therefore should no longer be exempted from the EU right to free movement of labour. As of July 1st, 2018, Croatian nationals will be authorized to engage in working activities in the Netherlands without obtaining a work permit. The government also highlighted that the Dutch economy is currently growing and that a potential distortion is therefore less likely. Croatia will also lift any restrictions for Dutch nationals on the Croatian labor market. Among the EU member states, only Austria and Slovenia have indicated their intention to extend transitional arrangements.
The decision of the Dutch governments enables employers to hire Croatian nationals without the need to obtain a work permit.