In the next couple of months, the European labour market for Croatian workers will get somewhat bigger. At the beginning next year Switzerland will open its labour market for workers from Croatia!
Switzerland has, until now, not classified Croatian citizens the same as it has other European Union members in terms of working possibilities, but from 2022 that will change.
The Swiss informed the European Union at the 24th meeting of the Switzerland-European Union Joint Committee on the Agreement on the Free Movement of People, which was held by videoconference due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland has so far applied labor market protection measures to citizens of the Republic of Croatia under this Agreement.
At its session on October 1, the Swiss Federal Council decided to grant the status of free movement of people for citizens of the Republic of Croatia starting from January 1, 2022.
This will equate workers from Croatia with workers from other EU member states or the European Free Exchange Association.
Should Croatian immigrant workers cross a certain threshold, Switzerland could reach for a safeguard provision and re-limit permits for workers coming from Croatia. However, this is unlikely to occur as the vast majority of Croatia immigrant workers head for Germany.
As of December 31, 2020, 28,324 Croatian workers were working in Switzerland and that number is only 1.9 percent of the EU workers living in Switzerland.