This week Netherlands has announced that it will abolish work permits for Croatian citizens, starting from July 1, 2018. As every country has had the right to restrict its labor market from the newly joined states, Netherlands was no exception when Croatia joined the EU in 2013. As per European law, restrictions may last for 7 years in total, following the scheme 2+3+2 years.
At the end of the 5th year, Netherlands will open its labor market to Croatian citizens, who will be able to look for employment under the same regulations as other EU nationals. At the same time, Croatian government has decided to do the same for (a very few) Dutch workers in Croatia.
Dutch market is chronically lacking the same professions that Croatia is missing too – doctors of medicine and nurses – and Netherlands may not benefit from this move anymore. A large number of workers had already left Croatia years ago and went to work in Germany as they did not need work permits to get a job there.
The only two countries in EU that will use the full 7-year ban are Slovenia and Austria.