Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice.
EU citizens are entitled to:
- look for a job in another EU country
- work there without needing a work permit
- reside there for that purpose
- stay there even after employment has finished
- enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages
EU nationals may also have certain types of health & social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work.
Free movement of workers also applies, in general terms, to the countries in the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
People working in some occupations may also be able to have their professional qualifications recognised abroad.
EU social security coordination provides rules to protect the rights of people moving within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Who can benefit from this freedom?
- Jobseekers, i.e. EU nationals who move to another EU country to look for a job, under certain conditions
- EU nationals working in another EU country
- EU nationals who return to their country of origin after having worked abroad.
- Family members of the above.