Today the European Parliament gave its final green light to set up the European Labour Authority (ELA), in order to end labour exploitation, tackle undeclared work in Europe and ensure fair mobility of workers across the EU. This is a major success for the Socialists and Democrats who have been calling for such a body for many years. The Authority will start its work in 2019 and is expected to reach its full operational capacity with a staff of 144 people by 2024.
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 is more crucial than ever. The agreement achieved on the ELA enables it to provide critical added value at EU level for the strict application and enforcement of the Union’s labour law in order to counter exploitation, tackle undeclared work and eradicate cases of present-day slavery. The 17 million European citizens who work in another member state will be better protected from now on.
“As the S&D Group, we succeeded in including European level social partners as members of the Management Board and in providing national social partners direct access to the ELA, thus contributing their direct experience and knowledge of labour relations for the effectiveness of the Authority. Having strongly insisted for many years for the creation of such a body, we consider the establishment of the ELA a major achievement for our Group.”
S&D spokesperson on employment and social affairs, Agnes Jongerius, MEP, added:
“I am very pleased with the outcome of today’s vote, as it is an important step to prevent and stop fraud and abuse. We have been always saying that it is not enough to draft good legislation at European level. It is also necessary to ensure that it is properly implemented, applied and enforced afterwards. The European Labour Authority will do all that, helping us to fight against exploitation of workers in Europe.
“I truly believe that the ELA will reflect the reality on the ground. The S&Ds secured during the negotiations that workers and trade unions will be able to file concrete cases of abuse and exploitation directly to the ELA. ELA will coordinate and support joint and concerted labour inspections based on the principle of cooperation between national authorities. Now the ELA must get up and running as soon as possible.”