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SLOVENIA - Croatian Worker Restrictions Lifted from 1 July 2018

, 16/07/2018

The Slovenian government has lifted work restrictions for Croatian workers, effective 1 July 2018. Croatian nationals now have the same access to the Slovenian labour market as nationals of other EU Member States. Austria is the only EU Member State still restricting Croatians’ access to its labour market.


When Croatia joined the EU in 2013, Slovenia was one of the Member States which activated its right to place restrictions on labour market access for Croatian nationals for up to five years, with the option to extend for a final two years if there was clear evidence that removing the controls would lead to a ‘serious labour market disturbance’.

Most EU Member States have now dropped these restrictions. In February 2018, Malta announced that it had cancelled labour market restrictions for Croatian nationals with immediate effect. In March 2018, the United Kingdom announced that it would lift its restrictions on Croatian workers from 1 July 2018. The Netherlands also removed work restrictions for Croatians from 1 July 2018. In March 2018, Slovenia and Austria both announced that they intended to extend their restrictions on Croatian national workers for another two years. However, on 29 June 2018, the Slovenian Labour Ministry announced that it would instead lift the restrictions.

Action Items

Employers in Slovenia, and Croatian nationals seeking work in Slovenia, should contact their immigration specialist if they are in any doubt how the changes might affect them.