More than 17 million Europeans work in a member state that is different from their nationality. That figure has almost doubled in size over the last decade, according to Commission statistics.
The European Commission wants to set up a new EU agency to oversee cross-border labour disputes and manage the growing number of people who travel within the bloc for work. The agency would receive a budget of €50 million and open before the current Commission’s term ends next year.
Since she took office in 2014, Thyssen has proposed several pieces of new legislation that rules for workers who travel between member states. Negotiators recently struck a deal on the controversial posting of workers directive, which includes rules on how long and under what conditions workers can stay in one member state and still pay social contributions in their home country.
Legal discussions are still ongoing over a draft bill to align national social security systems in the EU, and on another overhaul of labour rules that apply to truck drivers who move around the bloc.
The Commission’s proposal for the ELA includes an explicit reference to the road transport sector, which national labour authorities have struggled to police. More than two million truck drivers travel between EU countries every day, according to the Commission.
Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, the French centre-right MEP who shepherded the posted workers bill through negotiations, said that the new EU agency will be crucial to make sure that national authorities apply the controversial legislation. France was the most outspoken member state in favour of sharpening the posted workers legislation to clamp down on temporary workers from other member states.