Chairwoman Pervenche Beres (S&D, FR) commented that things seem to be finally moving on this issue after a long time.
Draftsperson Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D, FI) said that yesterday was the final trilogue session. She stated that the European Commission has been more flexible than the Council. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the Council which only offers equal treatment in relation to remuneration. She underlined the fact that the positions of the Parliament are not adopted. The Council has offered new wording on recital 11 but she described this as window dressing. She emphasized that the proposed solution brings more confusion rather than clarity. She reiterated that this is not a good compromise and the Council is not making any effort to find common ground. She asked the Committee what kind of signal should be sent to the Presidency. She commented that the Committee needs to decide if they will accept the Council’s position. She reminded everyone that time is really limited with the elections looming.
Sari Essayah (EPP, FI) agreed that things become complicated due to the shared competence between the Employment affairs Committee (EMPL) and the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE). She said that things started to go wrong when this remuneration was added to article 5 which is not in EMPL’s competence but it is LIBE’s. This is making things technically very hard. The Council is not moving; this is why; she agreed that the Committee needs to decide if this dossier will be dealt within the current term or it will be left to the new Parliament. In addition, the Presidency has made steps backwards and has this led to more confusion. She referred to the new formulation of article 5 as well as the new Communication by the Commission. She said that for now, negotiations will continue. She concluded by saying that it is important to finish the work but she is not certain about the final price that the Committee will pay. She stressed that the Committee should not go as far as to reject this altogether.
Nadja Hirsch (ALDE, DE) stated that the right question to ask is what position the Committee will keep. She said that negotiations need to be concluded even if the Committee is not 100% satisfied. In her view, a clear signal is needed and thus urged everyone, expressing the position of her Group; that some kind of an agreement must be reached with the Council.
Elisabeth Schroedter (Greens/EFA, DE) said that she is not certain about whether this is beneficial or not. She expressed serious doubts about the usefulness of the Directive. She commented that everything to do with posting is very complicated. From the posting of workers’ trilogue, it has already been made apparent how complicated it is. She supported the view that legally, this will create far more problems than advantages. She noted that the most recent wording makes the advantages less visible. She added that her Group does not have a position on this issue yet, but prospects do not look bright in terms of a possible agreement.
Alejandro Cercas (S&D, ES) commented that the Committee should adopt a very tough position as the Council’s stance is unacceptable. The Council is imposing its will on the European Parliament while rejecting all of the latter’s proposals. He stressed that the Council sidelines workers’ rights and disrespects the European Parliament. He agreed that the latest proposals will only make things more complicated. His Group’s position is that this goes against all kinds of rationality. This Directive will be empty of content, this is why; he favoured the next Parliament negotiating on an equal footing with the Council. He insisted that Article 4 is crucial and needs to be kept in; it cannot be replaced by recitals.
Derek Roland Clark (EFD, UK) asked why the EU is hostile towards third country nationals. He explained that the UK has the whole of the Commonwealth which cannot be overlooked. He reiterated that the UK owes them a great debt of honour and gratitude. He thus made clear that the citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be discriminated against in favour of EU citizens.
Draftsperson Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D, FI) expressed the opinion that negotiations should continue. She noted that it is very important that the Parliament does not postpone this subject.
Chairwoman Pervenche Beres (S&D, FR) expressed the hope that the Committee will have the same dynamic as on the issue of posting of workers. She noted that all Groups support the rapporteur and expressed the hope that a better compromise will be reached than the existing one.