On the move within the EU:

Within the European Union the freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services applies. Hence, all EU citizens may live and work in other EU member states, whether self-employed or employed.  

This means, EU citizens are free to seek work in other EU member states, to establish themselves in that country for that purpose, and to remain there even after employment has ended. The same applies to self-employed persons or entrepreneurs and even includes cross-border services. Furthermore, EU citizens are entitled to the same treatment as nationals in their host country regarding access to employment, working conditions and other social and tax benefits.

Artists with Austrian citizenship travel to foreign EU countries for artistic work


A self-employed dancer from Austria wants to work on a fee basis at a theatre in Lisbon for two months. She does not need to apply for a residency or work permit. 

Staying in other EU countries

Artists who are Austrian citizens only need a valid identity card or passport  to travel to and reside in another EU country.

EU member states are allowed to require residency registration if the length of the stay and occupation in the host member state exceeds three months.

Access to other EU countries' markets

The treaty on the workings of the European Union lays down the freedom of establishment, providing services and movement of workers. Accordingly, EU citizens have free access to the countries of the European Common Market.

Self-employed persons benefit from the freedom to provide services which allows them to engage in cross-border activity. This covers both their own activity in another member state and the deployment of individual employees.


An Austrian gallery owner wants to establish himself in Brussels and open a gallery there. He only needs to register his business under Belgian law and comply with the applicable local requirements. As an EU citizen, a work or residency permit is not needed.