European Labour Authority must protect workers’ rights and ensure fair labour mobility

The Socialists and Democrats backed today a proposal to set up an efficient and effective European Labour Authority (ELA) in order to end labour exploitation and ensure fair mobility of workers across the EU. The ELA shall promote cooperation between member states regarding labour mobility in the EU. In addition to monitoring and enforcement competences, the ELA will also facilitate access to information for workers and employers, support cooperation between member states and help settle disputes when they arise. The establishment of the ELA forms part of the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

S&D negotiator on the European Labour Authority, Georgi Pirinski MEP, said:

“With over 20 million mobile workers in the EU, protecting labour and social rights and ensuring fair mobility are more crucial than ever. Yet, national labour authorities can do little to monitor and apply EU rules across borders, thus leaving room for exploitation of loopholes in the current legislation. This is why we need a real and effective European Labour Authority. We want to make sure that cases of labour exploitation be detected in time and that EU legislation is properly applied to protect mobile workers across the EU.

“Establishing the ELA is a very positive step forward. We have achieved that the ELA focuses on core tasks in relation to labour mobility instead of juggling between multiple tasks that would reduce its effectiveness. Thanks to our efforts, social partners who know best the labour market, together with experts from the Parliament, will become members of the management board. We regret however, that conservatives and the liberals rejected a full tripartite structure of the authority.

“The Parliament adopted today an ambitious proposal. Now it is up to the Council to make swift progress and adopt an equally ambitious general approach.”

S&D spokesperson on employment and social affairs, Agnes Jongerius, MEP, said:

“Protecting and enforcing social and labour rights is the cornerstone of building a stronger social Europe. We Socialists and Democrats have long been calling for the creation of a real and effective European Labour Authority that will guarantee workers’ rights.

“The new ELA is an essential instrument in the fight against labour exploitation. From now on, trade unions will be empowered to file cases of abuse and exploitation directly to ELA. They encounter abuse on a daily basis and therefore it is extremely helpful to have their expertise on board.

“We call on the Council to reach a general approach on the ELA during the Austrian Presidency in order to finalise negotiations before the elections. It is time that we bring to reality the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights.”