Press Conference, European Commission, Employment and social rights
On Friday 26 April, the European Commission is due to adopt a Directive to facilitate the free movement of workers in the EU. The initiative aims to enhance labour mobility in the EU by preventing discrimination and reducing the incidence of unfair practices migrant workers face in Europe.
The proposal requires Member States to put in place measures to better apply and enforce the free movement of workers, for example through the creation of national bodies to inform EU migrant workers about their rights, the provision of redress mechanisms at national level, and the possibility for civil society organisations to engage in administrative or judicial procedures on behalf of individual workers in cases of discrimination.
Free movement of workers benefits the individuals concerned, the host countries, the home countries and the EU economy as a whole, notably by allowing for a better match between people with particular skills and employers looking for people with those skills.
Every EU citizen has the right to work and live in another Member State without being discriminated against on grounds of nationality, including when it comes to access to employment, remuneration and other conditions of work. This is enshrined in the EU Treaty and is a core principle of the Single Market.
However, in practice, mobile EU citizens often lack protection and information in their host country and are unable to overcome the obstacles they face, such as:
different recruitment conditions than nationals of the host country
nationality conditions to access certain jobs
nationality quotas in certain sectors (e.g. professional sport)
different working conditions (remuneration, career prospects, grade, etc.)
access to social advantages subject to conditions more easily met by nationals of the host country (e.g.; residence conditions)
recognition of professional experience and qualifications acquired in another country
These difficulties contribute to low labour mobility in the EU: according to the EU Labour Force survey, in 2011, only 3.1% of the working age European citizens (15-64) lived in another EU country than their own. A Eurobarometer survey (September 2001) indicates that 15% of European citizens would not consider working in another Member State because they feel there are too many obstacles.
The Commission will adopt the proposal for a Directive on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers.
12.30 Press conference by Commissioner Andor, followed by a technical briefing off-the-record.
IP and MEMO will be available on the day.