This post is brought to you by one of our newest consulting experts, Michael Nesbit. As a consulting services specialist at Plus, Michael implements new client mobility programs and new services for existing clients. The Consulting Services team supports other internal teams and our clients with benchmarking, policy development, program insights and overall helping companies solve the challenges posed to effectively manage their global mobility programs. He taps into a recent article from Dwellworks related to moving people within the EU. Take it away Michael.

Michael: Thanks Chris! With the 70th anniversary of NATO summit happening recently in London, this post seems timely! So, let's start with this statement from a recent blog post by Dwellworks which draws attention to the relative ease of relocation within the EU, especially when compared to the increasing complexity of other international locations.

“The structure of the European Union is intended to make the move among member nations simple, while preserving your social security rights.”

It can easily be taken for granted that living in one EU member country includes the benefit of easy access to others. Citizens of any country within the EU can work in other member countries without needing a visa or work permit, gaining the same economic rights as nationals. Dwellworks recommends taking a second look at the unique mobility opportunities that the EU provides, as the region is unique in its interconnectivity.

“The freedom to live and work in any member nation is a fundamental principle of the union.”

The UK and Ireland have a similar relationship through the maintenance of a Common Travel Area (CTA). Even though Brexit has disrupted the relationship between the UK and the EU, the CTA will continue to allow residents of the UK and Ireland to travel freely between the two areas. Dwellworks notes that due to Brexit, goods coming to the UK from Ireland will now be subject to taxes, but this is unlikely to have a widespread effect on employees.  

For those in the mobility industry, this continued attention being given to the EU’s accessibility points to the comforting conclusion that the EU’s open-border and open-economy policies are resilient enough to weather significant resistance. Despite the ongoing tensions in Europe caused by Brexit and the rise of political nationalism in numerous other European countries, the EU remains one of the most open areas for business travel and expatriate assignments. Most of the social, political and economic upheavals that were predicted as a result of Brexit have either passed or never occurred on a large scale. 

The business world has had good reason to be holding its breath over the last couple of years, but companies who have employees in the region may now be able to breath a small sigh of relief. Then again, stay tuned for the next chapter in the Brexit saga.