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European Labour Authority should serve the purpose of SMEs

21 June 2018
by UEAPME -- last modified 21 June 2018

UEAPME sees the European efforts to further promote cross-border mobility and a better functioning of the Single Market as a positive step for SMEs.


These efforts materialise through the establishment of the European Labour Authority (ELA) and through the full enforcement of European legislation and fight against fraud and abuse. The ELA should support better cooperation among Member States in terms of exchange of information, experiences and practices. To achieve this, the Labour Authority has to provide concrete added value compared to what already exists as regards European structures and bodies while fully respecting the competences of national authorities, such as technical assistance and capacity building. However, UEAPME emphasises that, as an Agency, the ELA should have no regulatory power.

SMEs look for a better implementation of existing European rules and tackling frauds in cases of cross-border mobility. UEAPME Secretary General VĂ©ronique Willems underlined that "ELA should hence become a one stop shop for information on rules (including social security) regarding cross-border mobility towards European citizens and businesses, in particular SMEs. ELA should also provide a concrete added value compared to what already exists as regards European structures and bodies, for both European citizens and businesses." Furthermore, ELA should have no regulatory power, interpretation capacity or European legislation competence.

Regarding the joint labour inspections, this should remain the strict competence of national authorities and should take place at the request of the Member States concerned. It is essential to respect the national competences in this domain and the future National Liaison Officers should play a determinant role in the way joint inspections are decided and organised, as is already the case between some Member States.

On the possible role of the European Labour Authority for arbitration through a dispute resolution mechanism, UEAPME stresses that this is the primary competence of the European Court of Justice. The Authority could facilitate exchanges and solve problems between Member States on a voluntary basis and at the request of Member States.

UEAPME is also participating as member of the Advisory Group for the European Labour Authority (ELA) to advise and assist the Commission on the establishment and functioning of the ELA, in parallel to the legislative procedure for its adoption. Social partners, including at sectoral level, have a key role in the process as it concerns cross-border mobility of workers and businesses.

UEAPME is the employers' organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner.

UEAPME - the European craft and SME employers' organisation
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