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Updated : 19/09/2016


Access to jobs in the public sector

As an EU national, you have the right to work in another EU country, including in the public sector — that is, for example, in state-owned companies, government bodies and public authorities.

Your right to work in some EU countries might be temporarily restricted if you are a national of Croatia.

EU countries may still reserve certain jobs for their own nationals, but only if they involve:

  • the exercise of public authority powers
  • the safeguard of general interests of the state.

These are typically posts in the diplomatic service, the armed forces, police and security forces, judiciary and tax authorities. But even there, positions not involving the exercise of public authority must be open to other EU nationals. For example, administrative and technical-support jobs do not involve exercising those powers, so those jobs cannot be reserved for a country's own nationals.

To get a job in the public sector, you may need official recognition of your qualifications in the country where you want to work.

Your new country cannot give you less credit for your professional experience just because you gained it in another EU country, when it comes to:

  • deciding what posts you are eligible for, when seniority or experience are required to take part in a recruitment competition
  • determining your salary, grade or other conditions.

Sample story

Your experience in the EU counts

Elisa from France worked as a teacher in France for 10 years before she moved to Italy. Her qualification to work as a teacher was recognised by Italy, but the Italian authorities considered her to be a beginner and put her at the lowest grade of seniority and pay.

If the seniority and pay of teachers in Italy are determined taking account of years of professional experience, Italy must give Elisa the same credit for the comparable experience she acquired in another EU country.

See also:

Recognition of professional qualifications

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or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

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