I am a Romanian citizen and I would like to know what are the restrictions on Romanian citizens in the EU?

I understand that Romanians needed work permits in some of the countries in the EU until 2014, but these restrictions have been lifted. I wonder what restrictions hadn't been lifted yet - and when they will be lifted? (for example: can we buy real-estate / study in other countries in the EU? Can we pass the borders like other EU citizens?).

2 Answers 2


Usually when a country joins the EU all of it's citizens get the same benefits as citizens of other EU countries. But other countries can impose moratoriums in some aspects (usually for a limited time period).

The most well known from these laws is a moratorium against being able to freely work in other EU countries, imposed for 7 years after a country joins the EU. This was lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens in 2014 (and will lift for Croatian citizens in 2020). There weren't many other laws similar to this, which would massively affect Romanian citizens (compared to other EU citizens), but to answer your points:

  • Generally one can buy real estate in other EU countries, but there are some exceptions in some countries around agricultural land and second homes. These exceptions apply to everyone (who is not local), not just Romanian citizens though
  • You could study in any of the EU countries given you can pass the exams and pay for your studies (where required). This was possible from day 1.
  • Passing borders: You could pass the EU borders like any other EU citizen from day 1. However, Romania is still not part of the Schengen area, meaning if you want to travel from/to other countries, you'll need to pass border control, and need to have your passport or identity card with you.

    Once you are inside the Schengen area (or the CTZ, if travelling to the UK) you can freely pass the borders as any other EU citizen. Similarly any EU citizen planning to visit Romania needs to pass the border as they are leaving the Schengen area.

    The date when Romania will join the Schengen area is yet unknown, as other Schengen countries haven't voted in favour of it yet (it was vetoed in October 2015 as far as I know). Whether Romania will join with Bulgaria or without is also unknown.


@SztupY's answer is thorough and accurate but the short answer is "none". There are no special restrictions to the rights of Romanian citizens in the EU anymore. The membership agreement foresaw a 7-year transition period with complex rules but that's over and Romanian citizens can now fully enjoy their rights as EU citizens (and especially the freedom of movement).

To the extent that something like buying real estate or taking up a specific job isn't permitted, it should be because general EU law allows it and it should apply to all other EU citizens alike (e.g. a few key defence or policy position – but not the full civil service – can be restricted to nationals only, but in that case this restriction would apply equally to citizens from “old” member states).

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