Lithuanian Presidency secured agreement on Freedom of movement for workers directive

21 December 2013, Last updated at, 10:27 EET
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author: AFP/Scanpix

In the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) the Member States voted in favor of the final compromise text, as agreed by the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament on freedom of movement for workers Directive.

The objective of this Directive is to establish a general common framework of appropriate provisions, measures and mechanisms necessary for the better and more uniform application and enforcement in practice of the free movement of workers' rights. This Directive applies to Union citizens exercising those rights and members of their family. According to the Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labour Algimanta Pabedinskienė, the final adoption of this important piece of legislation that will facilitate free movement of workers should be concluded before the end of the current parliamentary term.

“This Directive will facilitate a better and more uniform application of rights conferred by EU law on workers and members of their families exercising their right to free movement. It will help to better protect them against discrimination on grounds of nationality as regards access to employment, conditions of employment and work, in particular remuneration, dismissal, as well as tax and social advantages, by ensuring their equal treatment in comparison to nationals of that Member State. Directive will be beneficial for all workers who are already exercising their Treaty based right to free movement or who envisage to move to work to another Member State,” said the Lithuanian Minister.

According to the Directive, each Member State will designate a structure or a body for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of Union workers and members of their family without discrimination on grounds of nationality or unjustified restrictions and obstacles to their right to free movement and make the necessary arrangements for functioning of such bodies. The Directive also aims to better protect workers by ensuring that workers have an effective means of defence of their rights. Directive also establishes that associations, organisations or other legal entities with a legitimate interest in the promotion of the rights to free movement of workers may engage in any administrative or judicial procedure on behalf or in support of EU migrant workers where there has been a violation of their rights. Member States will be asked to introduce measures that protect Union workers from any adverse treatment or adverse consequence as a reaction to a complaint or proceedings aimed at enforcing compliance with the free movement rights.

Furthermore, proposal aims to promote better awareness of the rights of Union workers, to enhance provision of assistance to workers who suffer from nationality based on discrimination, as well as to deepen cooperation of all stakeholders in the field of free movement of workers.

Background:

The final informal trilogue by the co-legislators took place on 16 December.

On 26 April 2013, the Commission submitted a proposal for the Directive. The European Parliament' Employment and Social Affairs Committee voted on 5 November 2013 on this Proposal.

The proposal foresees that Union worker who believes that he/she has been the victim of discrimination on the grounds of nationality should be able to make use of appropriate administrative and/or judicial procedures to challenge the discriminatory behaviour. It also aims to better protect workers by ensuring that associations, organisations or other legal entities with a legitimate interest in the promotion of the rights to free movement of workers may engage in any administrative or judicial procedure on behalf or in support of EU migrant workers where there has been a violation of their rights. Furthermore, proposal aims to promote better awareness of the rights of Union workers, to enhance provision of assistance to workers who suffer from nationality based on discrimination, as well as to deepen cooperation of all stakeholders in the field of free movement of workers.

The right of free movement of workers foreseen in TFEU (Article 45) gives every citizen of the Union the right to move freely to another Member State in order to work and reside there. It protects them against discrimination on grounds of nationality as regards access to employment, remuneration, dismissal and other working conditions by ensuring their equal treatment in comparison to nationals of that Member State.

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