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European Labour Authority begins work

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European Labour Authority begins work

Worker

(BRUSSELS) - Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker launched a new EU agency Wednesday, the European Labour Authority, which began work by holding its first Management Board meeting in Brussels.

"The Authority will be a great asset on our quest for a more integrated and fairer European labour market," said Mr Juncker: "It will be here to support the work of the national labour authorities – and I salute all the members of the Management Board present tonight – to ensure the effective implementation of European rules based on trust and close cooperation."

Commissioner Marianne Thyssen added: "The Labour Authority will be the oil in the machinery of the internal market. A place where colleagues from different national authorities become used to working together and solving problems together. This will make the wheels of labour mobility turn more smoothly, to the advantage of millions of European citizens and businesses that make use of their right of free movement every day."

The Management Board of the Authority will meet for the first time on Thursday to adopt the necessary decisions to put the Authority into action and share their views on the initial work programme.

Around 17.5 million European citizens currently live or work in another Member State – twice as many as a decade ago. At the same time, millions of businesses operate across borders.

A substantial body of legislation regulating different aspects of mobility has been revised over the past years - such as the rules on posting of workers, enshrining the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place, and an expected final agreement on proposed revised rules on the coordination of social security systems. The Authority was proposed to facilitate enforcement of the rules, as a way to reinforce structured cooperation and exchange between competent national authorities.

The European Labour Authority has the following objectives:

  • Facilitate access to information and services to citizens and business about their rights and obligations;
  • Facilitate cooperation between Member States in the enforcement of Union law within its scope, including by facilitating concerted and joint inspections, as well as by tackling undeclared work;
  • Mediate and facilitate solutions in cases of cross-border disputes.

The activities of the European Labour Authority relate to rules on labour mobility: free movement of workers and the posting of workers, social security coordination, and specific legislation in the road transport sector.

No new competences will be created at EU level, and Member States will remain fully in charge of enforcement of labour and social security rules. The Authority's added value stems from the fact is that it will facilitate cooperation between Member States, streamline existing structures and provide operational support, ensuring more efficient enforcement of rules.

For national authorities, the Labour Authority is expected to improve cooperation on labour mobility by providing a permanent EU structure based on National Liaison Officers seconded by Member States to the European Labour Authority. The Authority will also allow for the pooling of resources for common activities, such as the organisation of joint inspections or training national staff to deal with cross-border cases.

Bratislava will ultimately host the seat of the new Authority.

European Labour Authority - background guide

Factsheet: Towards fair labour mobility: Setting up a European Labour Authority

Website of the European Labour Authority


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