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European Commission Forum Liaison

Brussels, 24.10.2007

Friday 26 October 2007

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On 24 October the European Commission adopted the outcome of the consultation on the modernisation of Labour Law.

On that same day, Eurofedop attended the Forum Liaison, which brings together social partners to discuss the results of consultation processes, multi-sectoral agreements that have been achieved, and the latest actions of the Commission regarding social dialogue, social rights and working conditions. Paul Cullen, legal officer in the Employment DG unit F.3 explained the results of this consultation, on which 450 answers were received. Respondents ranged from (European) social partners, industry bodies, NGO’s, labour lawyers and think-tanks, national parliaments and all except 2 EU Member States. As a European Social Partner, Eurofedop also participated in the consultation procedure. Some social partners wondered why the consultation did not take the form of an official EU social partner’s consultation on the basis of Article 138 EC. On the other hand, other stakeholders welcomed the fact that this was an open consultation and thus other organisations could participate too.

Inevitably, the issue of subsidiarity and the role of the EU in these matters with most stakeholders recalling the division of responsibilities. Labour law is generally viewed as falling within the competence of the Member States and social partners. The role of the Acquis Communautaire is merely complementary to Member State actions. Some respondents aimed for minimum standards.

Another issue discussed at the Forum Liaison was the integration of migrant workers. Immigration is increasingly becoming a common challenge for the EU. Since the 1990s positive net migration became the largest component of population change in most Member States, reaching close to 2 million net migrants per year across the EU. Europe can no longer rely on national policy options only. The growing openness in the EU results in an increased interdependence between Member States in relation to the management of immigration flows. Migration is also an issue high on Eurofedop’s agenda. This will mainly focus on the migration of workers (in the health care for instance) from new EU Member States to ‘old’ ones.

For more info on the presentations given at the Forum Liaison please click here

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