The Icelandic government is likely to extend work permit restrictions on Croatian citizens, ruv.is reports. Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on July 1 but there has been debate by some EEA countries on whether to postpone access of Croatians to the labor market.Photo: Keflavík International Airport. Photo: Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.
Accession to the EU does not grant automatic access to the European Economic Area (EEA). Croatia is currently negotiating entry into the EEA.
Iceland is looking at potentially delaying employment rights of Croatian citizens by two years. The issue is scheduled to be discussed in the autumn session of parliament.
The Directorate of Immigration has in recent months rejected the applications for asylum of many Croatian citizens.
The Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) has requested that the government delay Croatians’ access to the Icelandic labor market. Liechtenstein and Norway are reportedly intending on doing the same.
The Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), on the other hand, has said that there is no reason for Iceland to postpone employment rights to Croatians.
Director of SA Ragnar Árnason told visir.is that Croatians are unlikely to seek work in Iceland when they can work in the EU.
“Croatians are less than one percent of the European labor market and we are already open for the free movement of over 99 of EU citizens ... they can choose between 14 and 15 other countries in Europe. We don’t see a reason to resort to these measures,” He said.