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1st phase: 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2015
EU countries are free, if they wish, to apply their own national law during these first two years and are not required to respect the principles concerning the free movement of workers contained in Article 45 TFEU and in Regulation (EU) No 492/2011.

2nd phase: 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2018
For this second phase, EU countries must notify the European Commission if they wish to continue to apply their own national law for a further three years and not apply the principles concerning the free movement of workers.

3rd phase: 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2020
For the final phase, EU countries may continue to apply their national law only in the case of serious disturbance of their labour markets or a threat thereof and after notification of such to the European Commission.

Countries applying restrictions in the 1st phase

For the first phase until 30 June 2015, the following countries have informed the Commission that they will not apply EU law on the free movement of workers and that Croatian workers will have to obtain a work permit to work there:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Slovenia
  • United Kingdom

In addition, Croatia has informed the Commission that during the first phase it is applying restrictions on access to its labour market to nationals from the 13 countries listed above.

Summary table of Member States' policies - Workers from Croatia


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