Skip to main content

Working in the European Union

Your EU rights

As an EU national working in the European Union, you enjoy certain rights under EU law. For example:

  • you don’t need a permit to work in any EU country, either for an employer or as a self-employed person
  • if you meet certain conditions, you can live in the country where you work
  • in your workplace abroad, you also enjoy the same rights as nationals of that country (pay, health & safety, social security and tax advantages and reinstatement if you are wrongfully dismissed).

Social security & tax

Rights and rules on tax and benefits stem from the national law of the EU country where you work. This applies to sickness, maternity/paternity, pensions, unemployment and child allowance.

Nevertheless, there are EU-wide rules and principles that apply to certain aspects of benefits and tax. So before you take up your new job, check what your entitlements are.

Finding a job

There are a number of organisations set up by the EU to help jobseekers find work in any EU country. They can help you create your EU CV (Europass CV) and put you in touch with potential employers.

To work in another EU country, your professional qualifications may need to be officially recognised by the authorities there. Consult the EU professional qualifications database to check if this applies to you.

From getting a job to retirement, follow the links below to find out more about your rights and EU rules on working/retiring in the EU.

Working in other EU countries

Information on your rights in the EU, including work permits and equal treatment. There’s also advice for EU nationals posted temporarily to another EU country and also for non-EU nationals and civil servants working in the EU.

Professional qualifications

Information on how to get your qualifications recognised in another EU country, either permanently or for a shorter time. Consult the EU’s qualifications database and find out what documents you may need to supply.

European jobseeker database

This database run by EURES helps match jobseekers and employers in Europe. It also offers information on living and working conditions in EU countries and post-recruitment assistance, such as language training and integration courses.

Create your EU CV

Use online EUROPASS tools to help you create the perfect CV to clearly communicate your qualifications and skills to employers around Europe – and in the right language.

Social security benefits

Information on social security systems in the EU. Find out which country covers you while working abroad and how unemployment and child benefits are allocated. See the standard forms needed for these benefits.

Your right to equal treatment

Learn how EU law entitles you to freedom from discrimination whatever your gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or disability.

Retiring in another EU country

Information on how to apply for a state pension if you have worked abroad in one or more EU countries. Find out about retirement ages and pension systems in each country, as well as any supplementary pension rights.


Information on the basic EU taxation principles that apply to people who spend time outside their home country, within the EU. Find out how they could affect how much income tax you might be liable for, as well as any risks of double taxation.