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EU Matters.ie - Information about Ireland's membership of the EU

Freedom of Movement

The single market of the European Union is based on the four freedoms – freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and workers. These four freedoms are of fundamental importance to Ireland as a small open economy.

Freedom of movement of workers enables Irish workers to move to other EU countries to gain more diversified experience and improve their skills or, when there is an economic downturn, to obtain employment if suitable jobs are not available at home. Likewise Ireland greatly benefits from immigrants from other countries bringing their skills and experience to employment here, especially when there are labour shortages during periods of economic growth.

Ireland, therefore, has been to the forefront in the EU thought the Administrative Commission on social security for migrant workers and at Council Working Group and Council level in supporting and working to maintain and enhance protection of the social security of migrant workers in a balanced way, through the development of the EU Regulations and more effective implementation. Ireland during its Presidency in 2004 provided clear leadership in completing adoption of the revised and simplified regulations which are due to come into force shortly to replace the existing regulations.


Danuta Gray, CEO of O2 Ireland, talks about the opportunities for Irish citizens to work and live right across the European Union.

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