Last checked: 13/05/2022

Work in the public sector abroad

Civil servants abroad

You will be considered a civil servant abroad if:

If instead, you are working in your host country for a local public sector body without being a national of the country, you will count as a migrant worker.

Make sure you check:

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.

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

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 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:


As an EU national looking for a job in another EU country, you are also entitled to the same assistance from public employment services as nationals of that country.

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 in the lowest grade of seniority and pay.

If seniority and pay of teachers in Italy are determined by taking into account the 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


Job vacancies in Europe


Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Share this page: