Naslovnica Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers

Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers

What is being negotiated?

The acquis under this chapter enables EU citizens of one Member State to work in another Member State. The so called EU migrant workers must be treated in the same way as national workers when it comes to working conditions, social and tax advantages. Freedom of movement for workers is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union and one of the four freedoms in the internal market. It is laid down in Article 45 of the TFEU and is a fundamental right of workers, complementing the free movement of goods, capital and services within the European single market. It entails the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment.

Moreover, this article stipulates that an EU worker has the right to accept a job offer made, to move freely within the country, to stay for the purpose of employment and to stay on afterwards under certain conditions.

General principles related to access to labour market provide for non-discriminatory treatment (on the basis of nationality, residence and language) of workers who are legally employed in a country other than their country of origin. Certain rights are also extended to family members of the worker. The general principle includes also provisions related to supplementary pension rights of employed and self-employed persons moving within the Community. Member States also participate in the EURES system (European Employment Services) that enables close cooperation among national employment services to exchange information on employment opportunities. This acquis also includes a mechanism to coordinate national social security provisions for insured persons and their family members who are moving from one Member State to another.


Chapter 2 Freedom of Movement for Workers includes the following subchapters: access to labour market, EURES, coordination of the social security system and the European Health Insurance Card.

1. According to the provisions of the acquis, a worker who moves to another EU Member State has certain rights such as:

• right to work without work permit (except for workers from new Member States that are covered by transitional period)
• equal treatment in employment for migrant workers and nationals of the state in which the work is carried out
• right to equal social security for migrant workers and nationals of the state where the worker is employed
• right of family members to join the worker and receive family benefit,
• complete coordination of the social security system (right to pension and contributions for social security),
• mutual recognition of qualifications.

The aim of the aforementioned rights is to encourage mobility of labor force between the EU Member States, which represents an important factor for the internal market. Despite the guaranteed rights, the EU labor force is characterized by low spatial and professional mobility. Having in mind that low mobility of workforce has negative effects on the economic growth, level of employment and vocational competence of the workforce, the EU seeks to remove these obstacles by various measures aimed at improvement of employment and encouragement of mobility of workforce.

2. EURES is a European public employment services network (within the countries of European Economic Area plus Switzerland). The EURES network has been established in 1993 aimed at being an instrument of improvement of special and professional mobilityy of the workforce in the european labor market. The purpose of the EURES is to provide information, counceling and recruitment services to employers and jobseekers, but also to those who want to be informed about the freedom of movement for workers. By accession of Montenegro to the EU, the Employent Office of Montenegro would become a part of the European public employment services network (EURES) which would further provide Montenegrin citizens recruitment services related to employment in the EU member states.

Moreover, EURES has an important role to play in providing specific information and facilitate placements for the benefit of employers and frontier workers in European cross-border regions.
In practice EURES provides its services through the portal and through a human network of around 1000 EURES advisers that are in daily contact with jobseekers and employers across Europe.

3. Freedom of movement of workers is strengthened with the System of coordination of systems of social security. This system covers right of migrant workers and those who are supported by the workers to acquire, cumulate or to transfer social security contributions, as well as to receive payment of these contributions.

The rules on social security coordination do not replace national systems with a single European one. All countries are free to decide who is to be insured under their legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions. The EU provides common rules to protect social security rights of citizens when moving within Europe.

4. European Card of Health Insurance is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country. However, it is important to note that European Health Insurance card is not an alternative to travel insurance, does not cover costs in case of travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment and does not guarantee free services. In the health care field, medical expenses will need to be reimbursed for all necessary treatment of nationals falling ill or having an accident during a temporary stay in another Member State. European Health Insurance Card has to be issued to all nationals.

When was the chapter opened?

Chapter 2: Freedom of Movement for Workers, is opened at the Intergovernmental Conference held on 11 December 2017 in Brussels.

Closing Benchmarks?

“Montenegro demonstrates that adequate structures and enforcement capacity will be in place to implement correctly the acquis on freedom of movement for workers by the time of accession.”

Institutions/organizations participating in the Working group 2?

The negotiating group member in charge for chapters 2 and 19 and chief of the working group are representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare The contact persons for this working group is appointed from the European Integration Office.

Along with the representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, members of the Working group 2 are representatives of: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Administration, Police Administration, Inspection Affairs Administration, European Integration Office, Employment Office of Montenegro, Health Insurance Fund, Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, Capital Market Authority of Montenegro, Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro, Montenegrin Employers Federation, Chamber of Commerce and Montenegro Business Alliance.

Chapter 2 - Working Group


Edina Dešić

Head of the WG

Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare

Amina Bajrović Kuč

Secretary of the WG

Ministry of European Affairs

The Working group was established in April 2013. Chief of the working group is Edina Dešić, from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Contact person for this working group is Amina Bajrović Kuč, from the Ministry of European Affairs.

Working group counts 29 members (18 members from state institutions and 11 form the civil sector).



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