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Internal Market

PR(06)25: Free movement of workers: Notifications from the EFTA States concerning transitional arrangements

10.5.2006

Iceland has notified the Authority that, as of 1 May 2006, nationals from the new EU States may seek and accept employment in Iceland without special work permits. Liechtenstein and Norway have stated that they will continue to apply transitional measures until 30 April 2009.

After the EEA Enlargement on 1 May 2004 the EEA States have had the possibility to introduce transitional arrangements concerning the access to their labour market by workers from eight of the acceding countries[1] (Malta and Cyprus are not covered by the transitional arrangements).

By means of Annex B to the EEA Enlargement Agreement, the country-specific annexes to the EU Act of Accession of 2003, have been made applicable to the EFTA States. Under these country specific annexes, the EFTA States were to notify the EFTA Surveillance Authority by 30 April 2006 whether they will continue applying national measures or measures resulting from bilateral agreements, or whether they shall apply EEA rules on access to labour market to workers from the acceding countries.

On 28 April 2006 the Authority received the notifications from all three EFTA States. Liechtenstein and Norway stated that they will continue to apply national measures until the end of the five year period following the date of accession, i.e. until 30 April 2009, as provided for in the country specific annexes. Iceland notified the Authority that nationals from acceding countries may, as of 1 May 2006, seek and accept employment in Iceland without special work permits. Iceland has, however, established an obligation for all employers to inform the Directorate of Labour when they engage nationals of these countries. Furthermore, Iceland has underlined that workers from these countries shall apply for a residence permit in accordance with EEA acquis on the right of residence.

[1] Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.


For further information, please contact:
Ms. Eeva Kolehmainen
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 32

10 May 2006




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