Press releases

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers welcomes the proposal to set up a European Labour Authority


On 13th March 2018, the European Commission proposed the creation of a European Labour Authority. This new Agency should ensure that cross-border labour mobility is fair. The Agency will have a range of tasks:

(1)    facilitating the access to information  on the rights and obligations for workers and employers;

(2)    fostering a cooperation between Member States on labour mobility cases

(3)    coordinating concerted and joint inspections across the border

(4)    making analytical and risk-assessments of cross-border labour mobility aspects

(5)    strengthening the capacity of the Member States in cross-border labour inspections

(6)    voluntary dispute resolution between Member states

Over the last decade, we have observed a steep increase of cross-border social fraud, abuse and circumvention cases. The current European labour market makes it easy for fraudulent companies to exploit mobile workers.  The current flaws exist at EU level, but also within certain Member States. Therefore we urgently need a European coordination body with a clear mandate to improve the cooperation between the different national authorities.

EFBWW President Dietmar Schäfers underlines that “for more than a decade, the EFBWW has been asking for a European Labour Authority which can effectively facilitate fair labour conditions in the EU.” In his first assessment he appreciates that “the proposed Authority is not interfering with or questioning national labour market models. Although this should be better explained in the legislative act.” He adds that “We also have to make sure that the proposed Authority is not transformed in a new Internal Market tool, serving the interests of the companies”.

Sam Hägglund, EFBWW General Secretary emphasizes that “workers that cross borders often fall victim to exploitation and social fraud. These workers need to have their social rights guaranteed. The new Agency could have an important role in ensuring this. An important issue to be clarified, however, is the mediation role of the “Authority”. We need to find a right balance between ensuring that workers’ rights are effectively respected and enforced, whilst respecting the autonomy of the national authorities.

The European labour Authority is an operational tool, aimed to improve cross-border labour mobility. This Agency could significantly contribute to a fair cross-border labour market.

Brussels, 14.03.2018


Contact person: Werner Buelen,