• Croatia Expected to Join EU on July 1
  • June 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Croatia will become the newest EU member state on July 1, 2013, provided all EU members ratify the accession treaty by that date. A handful of EU member countries have yet to do so, though they are generally expected to ratify before July 1.

    Once Croatia is an EU member, other EU countries can choose to lift work restrictions altogether - treating Croatians as they do nationals of existing EU countries - or they can opt to impose temporary work restrictions for up to seven years, provided certain conditions are met.

    Though the governments of many EU members have yet to finalize rules for Croatian nationals, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are expected to remove all work restrictions for Croatian nationals.

    Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom are expected to impose temporary work restrictions on Croatian nationals, though work rules may be less strict than those for third-country nationals. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, is expected to treat Croatians in the same way the country treats Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, with work permit quotas separate from those for third-country nationals.

    Croatia is expected to lift its work restrictions for nationals of other EU countries, though it can choose to impose restrictions on nationals of countries that will maintain restrictions on Croatian nationals.