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Agreement to Create a European Labor Authority

Agreement to create a European Labor Authority

The European Union institutions have reached an agreement to establish a European Labor Authority to support labor mobility. It will have an annual budget of 50 million euros. Plans are for it to be up and running this year, and become fully operational in 2023.

Although President Juncker announced the establishment of a European Labor Authority in September 2017, it was not until March last year that the legislative initiative was presented to support member states facilitate access by workers and employers to information about their rights and obligations concerning labor mobility and coordination of social security schemes.

It will have a staff of 140, including civil servants, seconded from each member state.  EU partners must now decide where to locate their headquarters.

It will be steered by a Management Board comprising a senior representative from each member state and two European Commission representatives, all with voting rights.  The Management Board will also have an independent expert appointed by the European Parliament and four representatives appointed by cross-industry social partners, with no voting rights.

Competences of the New Authority

The ELA will have powers to boost operational cooperation between national authorities when applying EU labor rules and to offer mediation and solutions in case of disputes between national labor organizations.

It will not be able to arrange inspections of its own volition, which will continue to be a matter of national competence.  However, it may recommend a joint inspection by member states where it suspects fraud or abuse to have taken place.

"It will serve the double mission of helping national authorities fight fraud and abuse and making mobility easy for citizens.", commented the Belgian Commissioner in a press release, in which she also called on the Parliament and Council to approve the legislation “quickly”.

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