First steps to European Labour Authority

First steps to European Labour Authority

The European Commission recently presented a proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Labour Authority (ELA), which could already be operational by the end of 2019.  The main reasons for this initiative are that free movement of workers; freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services are fundamental principles of the internal market of the European Union, and that cross-border labour mobility in the EU benefits individuals, economies and societies.


Concerns have been voiced in relation to workers being vulnerable to abuse or being denied their rights, as well as businesses operating in an uncertain or unclear business environment, and on an unequal playing field.


Cross-border labour mobility has significantly increased in recent years and is almost double compared to 10 years ago. Also, postings operations have increased by 68% between 2010 and 2016 – a total of 2.3 million.


The ELA should provide access to information for individuals and employers, and should also mediate and facilitate a solution in case of cross-border disputes in three ways – first, by improving access to individuals and employed about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility and social security co-ordination.


The proposal to establish the ELA will enhance the EU institutional landscape in the area of cross-border mobility, to improve and simplify the current forms of co-operation. It will pool the technical and operational tasks of several bodies into a more permanent structure achieving improved and more efficient output, based on a strengthened forum for co-operation and joint investigative activities.


Finally the, Commission estimates the EU budgetary total costs of the ELA to be at approximately €50 million per year at cruising speed, expected to be reached by 2023. Several concerns have already been raised by regarding the nature, the scope and the competencies of the ELA. It is, therefore, impossible at this stage to indicate how effective it will be.