Autorità Europea Del Lavoro Morning Future
Imagining Investigation 25 October Oct 2019 0720 25 October 2019

Common rules and the fight against illegality: the birth of the European Labor Authority

The new EU body will be tasked with sharing labor data among member countries and monitoring wages, safety standards and compliance

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Encourage internal mobility, improve data collection and sharing, coordinate social security and strengthen the fight against illegal employment. With these objectives, the European Union has launched the new European Labour Authority (Ela), an EU agency officially established last June and which will take its first steps in the next few weeks, to enter full capacity within 2024, according to Brussels estimates.

The Authority is based in Bratislava, Slovakia, and is designed to remain in the Union independently of majorities in Parliament and the Commission over the years. A long-term project, in other words, to change the pace of work and to standardize as many rules, rights and duties as possible, in order to level the numerous disparities between Member States. Each country will have its own representative within the Authority, whose operation will cost the Union, according to forecasts, about 50 million euros per year.

Leading it will be a Steering Committee, which will be headed by an Executive Director. In turn, the Authority's approximately 140 officials will be able to count on a group of stakeholders, or experts who will provide professional support and have an advisory role.

Some 17 million European workers work outside their own country

As mentioned, one of the first objectives of the new EU body will be to facilitate the exchange of information between countries. Not only on a theoretical level: a control system is planned with inspectors capable of carrying out checks in the Member States and who will be able to report illegal situations. In the long run, the hope is to stave off companies that do not respect workers' rights and standardize the rules. This is no small matter, given that some 17 million European workers work in a country other than their home country: in many cases this type of mobility has ceased to be an advantage, becoming instead an ideal gray area for illegal employment, reduced wages and low safety standards.

Just think of what is happening in Italy, where in the news we often hear about the exploitation of workers– especially from Eastern Europe –arriving in Italy seeking better conditions and quickly needing to find money. And many entrepreneurs profit from this situation, saving compared to regular workforce and taking their chances on the lack of control measures that could now finally become more effective.

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