European Labour Authority (ELA) starts its work
Yesterday (16 October), The European Labour Authority (ELA) started its activities with an inaugural ceremony and the first meeting of its Management Board.
The launch takes place two years after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the idea for such an Authority in his 2017 State of the Union address before the European Parliament.
Marking the event, President Juncker said: “The European Labour Authority is the cornerstone in our work to make EU labour rules fair, effective and enforceable. It is no surprise that the Authority was established in record time, given its great necessity.
The Authority will provide workers and employers with better access to information on their rights and obligations and will support national labour authorities in their cross-border activities. This will directly support the millions of Europeans who live or work in another Member State as well as the millions of businesses operating cross-border in the EU.
This is another major step towards an integrated European labour market built on trust, reliable rules and effective cooperation. I want to thank all those – in the Parliament, the Council and the Commission – who have made the Authority a reality. I wish it every success.”
The Management Board of the Authority consists of representatives of Member States, of the Commission, EU-level social partners, European Parliament, as well as observers from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and other EU Agencies in the field of employment and social affairs. On 17 October, they will meet for the first time 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.
The EU has developed a substantial body of legislation regulating different aspects of mobility, which the Juncker Commission has revised and improved over the past years.
In particular, the EU has now revised the rules on posting of workers, enshrining the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place, and is currently aiming to adopt a final agreement on the proposed revised rules on the coordination of social security systems.
To facilitate enforcement of the rules, this Commission proposed to set up a new Authority 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.