On 14 February 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission’s proposal to establish a European Labour Authority (ELA).
Building a more social Europe and strengthening fairness in the Internal Market is a key priority for this Commission, as indicated in the Political Guidelines of July 2014. Several initiatives have already been presented to improve EU rules for labour mobility. To help ensure that these rules are well applied on the ground, President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed to establish a European Labour Authority in his State of the Union address to the European Parliament on 13 September 2017: “We should make sure that all EU rules on labour mobility are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way by a new European inspection and enforcement body. It seems absurd to have a Banking Authority to police banking standards, but no common Labour Authority for our Single Market.”
Since this announcement, the Commission has actively engaged with Member States, national authorities, relevant EU bodies, social partners, civil society, and citizens on the challenges that they face and how a European Labour Authority could help address them. In addition to targeted consultations, the Commission organised an online public consultation between November 2017 and January 2018.
On the basis of the input received, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Regulation on establishing a European Labour Authority, as part of the Social Fairness Package on 13 March 2018. This proposal is also part of the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which aims at achieving stronger convergence towards better working and living conditions.
The creation of a European Labour Authority is also in line with the Commission’s commitment to promote more effective application of the EU legislation in its Communication ‘Better Regulation: Delivering better results for a stronger Union’. The European Labour Authority will help to enforce the rules on labour mobility.
The European Labour Authority will contribute to fostering fairness and mutual trust in the Internal Market by ensuring that EU rules are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way. To this end, the Authority will support Member States in matters relating to cross-border labour mobility, including rules on the free movement of workers, the posting of workers and the coordination of social security systems. It will also enhance cooperation between Member States in tackling undeclared work.
Specifically, the Authority will have the following objectives, to:
(1) support Member States in facilitating access to information for individuals and employers about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility and social security coordination as well as access to relevant services;
(2) support operational cooperation between national authorities in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections;
(3) provide mediation and facilitate solutions in cases of disputes between national authorities.