New EU labour authority officially launched

Slovakia’s labour minister says that the European Labour Authority can serve as a small European Commission.

The European Labour Authority will reside on Landererova Street in Bratislava.The European Labour Authority will reside on Landererova Street in Bratislava.(Source: SME)

The European Labour Authority (ELA) has become a reality, and in a record-short time.

EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said so in Brussels on October 16 during the inauguration of the new office that will reside in Slovakia.

He unveiled the logo together with Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer).

Juncker praised the fact that one of the basic pillars of the new European Commission will be social pillar. He also wished the new agency and its council success.

The agency will start its full operation in December, the TASR newswire reported.

Pellegrini: ELA is not needless

Pellegrini stressed two moments in his speech: first, that Slovakia will serve as the headquarters for the very first EU agency since joining the club in 2004, and second, that Slovakia, which has always been searching for a social element in its politics, will host the authority dealing with labour law and labour mobility in the EU.

He expressed hope that many new employees from Europe and the entire world will come to work in Bratislava.

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“I’m proud that the agency will start working properly in following weeks, and that we’ll welcome it in Bratislava in few months,” Pellegrini continued, as quoted by TASR.

In his opinion, the ELA is not an unnecessary agency. Although it will fully launch its operation in December, there already are cases that need to be solved as quickly as possible. One case of exploiting posted workers concerns dozens of Slovak people working in Germany.

“The high number of similar cases suggests that this agency is not a fable, but an agency with real problems to solve,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR.

Also Maroš Šefčovič, who has been serving as the European commissioner in previous years and will have a post in the new EC, pointed to the debates on keeping social standards in EU countries held in the past. He praised the fact that the ELA will be headquartered in one of the “new” EU member states and supervise the creation of fair working conditions for people, as reported by TASR.

Richter: The EC in miniature

Slovak Labour Minister Ján Richter (Smer), who also attended the inauguration ceremony, stressed the importance of the new authority due to the labour market mobility.

As he continued, Europe does not have any experience with such agency.

“It’ll always be important to provide people and companies with necessary information and coordinate various actions, and share information if a problem of social or salary dumping occurs,” Richter said, as quoted by TASR.

Related articleSlovak unions positive about European Labour Authority Read more 

It will be important that other EU countries know about such cases in order to prevent them from repeating elsewhere.

As for the staff, the process is supervised by the European Commission that is searching for people within common recruitment procedures. There have been six selection procedures so far, and the other will follow. Richter hopes that the EC will stick to its rule from other countries, and will offer one-third of posts to the locals. This means that 50 of 150 jobs may be given to Slovaks.

ELA council is expected to meet in early December in Bratislava. Until then, the building will undergo some final adjustments.

“It’ll be a small copy of the European Commission,” Richter said, as quoted by TASR. “Every EU member state will have a representation there, and its own secretariat. This means that the whole EU will be concentrated in the relatively small Bratislava.”

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Theme: Peter Pellegrini


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