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Public hearing at EMPL-Committee on the Commission’s proposal for an enforcement of the Posting of Workers Directive (PWD) at the European Parliament

In view of the draft report of the Rapporteur Danuta Jazlowiecka (EPP), the EP Employment Committee (EMPL) organised a public hearing on the enforcement of the PWD in the framework of the provision of services. The main aim was to open the debate on this very controversial issue. The EFCI Secretariat participated in this hearing, especially to obtain inside information on eventual changes on the calendar of the legislative procedure within the European Parliament.

The public hearing was organised around the presentations of four experts who were invited to give their opinion on the proposed enforcement directive. Werner Buelen (European Federation of Building and Woodworkers), Professor Yves Jorens (International Research Institute on social fraud, University of Ghent), Stig Nørgaard (Danish Ministry of Employment) and Thomas Schleicher (European Construction Industry Federation) give their viewpoint on the main issues of the proposed reform. From their particular perspective – trade unions, researcher, national employment administration, and employers - they provided concrete examples of the situation of workers and employers under the system of the PWD.

After their speeches, an exchange of views took place with EMPL-Committee members and can be summarized as follows. Several EMPL-committee members asked the experts on specific points related to the Commission’s proposal, this in order to better understand the main sources of problem in the current enforcement of the existing directive. At this occasion, the President of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) Thomas Schleicher strongly supported the position of the EFCI with regard to the article 9 of the Commission’s proposal (see the EFCI position paper sent to the Rapporteur Danuta Jazlowiecka on 13 June 2012). Indeed, Mr Schleicher considered that the Article 9 is not acceptable in its current wording. As proposed by the Commission, the translation of the relevant documents in situation of posting, can be only required as long as “these documents are not excessively long and standardised forms are generally used for such documents” (Article 9, paragraph 1, sub-paragraph c).

He emphasised that a correct application and enforcement of the PWD can only be ensured if appropriate control measures can take place effectively, which is not the case in the current wording of the proposal. On the other hand, the representative of the Danish Ministry of Employment said that the Article 9 should be deleted, as it would hinder the free movement of cross-border services.

 

The Rapporteur Danuta Jazlowiecka concluded the debate by asserting her willingness to find the right balance to create the necessary legal security both for employers and workers in order to ensure the free movement of services in the whole EU. The timetable of the legislative procedure did not change since June 2012 and is currently as follows:

 

·   28 November 2012: Second exchange of views in the EMPL-Committee

·   13 December 2012: Deadline for amendments

·   January 2013: Consideration of amendments in the EMPL-Committee

·   February 2013: Consideration of compromise amendments in the EMPL-Committee

·   End of February 2013: Vote of adoption in the EMPL-Committee

·   April-May 2013: Vote in plenary at the European Parliament (estimate)

 

Finally, the Rapporteur closed the meeting by explaining that the European Commission decided on 11 September to withdraw its proposed regulation on posted workers, known as “Monti II”. Following the fact that 12 national parliaments called on the Council to re-examine the regulation proposal, these 12 Member States considered that this regulation - that was due to set up a new balance between the principle of the free provision of services and the right to carry out collective actions – as going too far and violating the principle of subsidiarity.