On 13 June 2019, Bratislava was chosen as the seat of the new European Labour Authority (ELA).
The EPSCO Council (the council of the ministers of work of the EU Member States) in Luxembourg has selected the Slovakian capital with 15 votes out of 28. The other competing cities were Sofia (Bulgaria), Riga (Latvia) and Nicosia (Cyprus). Therefore, the seat of this important new institution was almost certain to go to an Eastern European country.
The ELA, as a concept, was an idea which was introduced as part of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017, which resulted in the Regulation establishing a European Labour Authority, which was also adopted by the Council on 13 June 2019. The aim of this new body is to support compliance and coordination between Member States in the enforcement of EU rules in the areas of labour mobility (e.g. posting) and social security coordination. It will also provide access to information for individuals and employers in cross-border labour mobility situations.
Now that the location has been set, the ELA can begin to make additional preparations for the proposed start of its activities at the end of 2019, in order to reach its full capacity in 2024. The ELA will be a permanent structure, with 140 staff members, some of them seconded from EU countries and acting as National Liaison Officers. It will be steered by a Management Board, with representatives from each EU country and the European Commission. The annual budget is set at 50 million EUR.
The ELA could be seen as a social version of Europol, with its own competences being of little importance and instead mainly serving as a centre of coordination and operation between the social inspectorates of the different Member States. Such a coordination can be very useful to improve the monitoring of the posting of workers’ rules and the social security coordination of cross-border workers in particular, in light of the current problematic cooperation between Member States, when national authorities are asked to verify the conformity of A1-declarations.
This article was provided by the law firm Van Olmen & Wynant, L&E Global’s member firm in Belgium.
For more information about Van Olmen & Wynant, please visit their website at www.vow.be