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Croatia – Employment and Social Affairs

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Croatia – Employment and Social Affairs

Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.


Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1326 - Not published in the Official Journal].


The 2010 Report notes a good level of alignment, but also shortcomings concerning labour law, social protection, protection against discrimination and equality between men and women. The functioning of social dialogue should also be improved.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis in the social field includes minimum standards in areas such as labour law, equal treatment of women and men in employment and social security, and health and safety at work. The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial tool through which the EU supports the implementation of its Employment Strategy and contributes to social inclusion efforts (implementation rules are covered under Chapter 22, which deals with all structural instruments). The Member States participate in social dialogue at European level and in EU policy processes in the areas of employment policy, social inclusion and social protection.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Good progress has been made on social policy and employment. There is a good level of alignment with the acquis.

However, some gaps remain in alignment of the legislation, notably on transposing labour law directives, and in the field of anti-discrimination and gender equality.

Administrative capacity requires further strengthening.


Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1333 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 Report noted a satisfactory level of alignment of Croatian legislation with the Community acquis. However, the country’s administrative capacity had to be strengthened in order to guarantee the effective transposition and appropriate implementation of the acquis in this area.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2694 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2008 Report underlined the progress accomplished to complete bringing the legislation into line. Development of administrative capacity was still essential with regard to the accession negotiations.

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1431 - Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2007 Report highlighted considerable progress in job creation and the reduction of the rate of unemployment. Shortcomings still persisted, in particular concerning workers’ mobility.

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1385 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2006 Report noted that efforts were needed with regard to the weak administrative capacity.

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final - SEC(2005) 1424 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2005 Report noted that legislative activity was limited to health and safety at work, without, however, building up the necessary enforcement capacity.

Commission Opinion [COM(2004) 257 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. In its April 2004 Opinion, the Commission stated that Croatia had to make considerable and sustained efforts to align its legislation with the Community acquis.

See also

Last updated: 03.12.2010