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European Commission - Press release

Free movement of workers: Commission requests Malta to end discrimination against workers with professional experience acquired in another Member State

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - The European Commission has requested Malta to take previous periods of comparable employment acquired by teachers in another Member State into account when determining their working conditions (e.g. salary, grade; career advancement) for state school teachers working in Malta. This also affects Maltese teachers who have worked in a public school in another Member state, as their experience abroad is not taken into account when returning to Malta.

In line with the case law of the EU Court of Justice, the European Commission considers that comparable working periods acquired in other Member States should be taken into account in the same way as is applied to working periods acquired in the Maltese system.

The request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. Malta now has two months to inform the Commission of measures it has taken to bring its legislation into line with EU law. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer Malta to the EU's Court of Justice.


With the exception Member States being able to reserve certain public service posts for their own nationals (those which involve the exercise of public authority and the responsibility for safeguarding the general interest of the State, e.g. policemen, judges), EU law on free movement of workers applies fully to public sector workers. As teachers do not fall within this exception, they have to be treated in the same way as national teachers in accessing posts and the setting of working conditions.

Further information

Free movement of workers

Employment in the public sector

Commission Staff Working Document 'Free movement of workers in the public sector'

See also MEMO/11/646

Contacts :

Cristina Arigho (+32 2 298 53 99)

Maria Javorova (+32 2 299 89 03)

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