Four countries in running to host European Labour Authority seat

Written by Martin Banks on 7 May 2019 in News
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Four EU countries have applied to host the seat of the future European Labour Authority (ELA), it has emerged.

Nicosia | Photo credit: Press Association


The ELA, the EU’s latest agency, will seek to police work standards for the 17 million mobile workers across the bloc.

The four bidding for the ELA are Cyprus (Nicosia), Bulgaria (Sofia), Latvia (Riga) and Slovakia (Bratislava).

The European Commission says it will assess the offers from each country based on a range of criteria, ranging from geographical balance, accessibility of the location and the existence of “adequate” education facilities for children of staff.


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On the basis of the Commission's assessment, a decision is expected to be taken on 13 June in Luxembourg.

The ELA is a permanent agency, made up of approximately 140 staff members, some of them seconded from EU countries.

A dedicated stakeholder group will provide further expertise and have an advisory role.

The authority will have an annual budget of approximately €50m.

“The aim of the ELA is to assist Member States in implementing EU legal acts in the areas of labour mobility across the EU and of social security coordination” European Council spokesman

In February, Council and Parliament reached agreement on the ELA which, it is hoped, will be fully operational by 2023.

The agency is part of efforts to bolster the enforcement of EU rules covering everything from reforms to the Posted Worker Directive to resolving economic differences between richer and poorer EU countries.

Importantly, countries will not be forced to work with the new authority but will instead be able to contribute on a voluntary basis.

A council spokesman said, “The aim of the ELA is to assist Member States in implementing EU legal acts in the areas of labour mobility across the EU and of social security coordination.”

“It will also support Member States in the cross-border enforcement of relevant EU law, including facilitating concerted and joint inspections,” he added.

The ELA’s creation was announced in September 2017 by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address.

Juncker said, “We have made a lot of progress on fairer rules for labour mobility in recent years. The new authority will help us to make them work in practice.”

Meanwhile, Juncker has been given the “European Leader of the Year” Award at the second “European Leadership Awards” ceremony, organised by the European Business Summit, which is taking place this week in Brussels.

Other nominees were EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

The organisers said, “For the past five years, he [Juncker] has been at the helm of the European Commission at a time of great challenges for the European Union. As he prepares to leave the Presidency of the European Commission, this award recognises the impact Juncker has had on an ever-changing Europe.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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