27.04.2018

Towards a European Labour Authority ― Mandate, Main Tasks and Open Questions

In September 2017, the European Commission proposed the creation of a European Labour Authority. What expectations and advantages are related to its creation?

Photo: iStockphoto.com / zhaojiankang

The “four freedoms”― goods, services, capital, and movement beyond borders― lie at the heart of the European Union (EU) and underpin the idea behind its single market, without trade barriers and with harmonised national rules at the EU level. 

At present, about 16 million people are working outside their home borders in the European Union, twice as many as in 2008, a trend that is expected to rise in the future. In the study "Towards a European Labour Authority" commissioned by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, author Jan Cremers of the Department of Labour Law and Social Policy at Tilburg University (Netherlands) explores problems in the area of cross-border labour mobility. He goes on to suggest that fair working conditions in the Single Market could be enhanced by the establishment of a European Labour Authority.

A new authority on an EU level promises to overcome a main challenge: the inability to monitor and sanction new forms of regulatory arbitrage, regime shopping and the evasion of existing labour standards as the competence of national authorities to control and enforce them end at the border.

Download and read the study.  

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