EM Norway: On our way to a more equitable European working life
We are on our way to a more equitable European working life.
Social dumping and working life crime are considered to be among the biggest challenges in the EU. Not only by Norwegian EU opponents, but by EU politicians from all parts of Europe and from all types of parties. It’s no wonder. The politicians in Brussels understand that a well-functioning European cooperation depends on mutual trust and cohesion between the 31 countries that make up the EU and the EEA. However, trust and unity are weakened when workers from different countries in the Union are forced to race at the bottom, which only rogue employers win.
In November 2017, the incumbent EU Commission presented the so-called “European Pillar of Social Rights”. Here are presented 20 key principles for fair and well-functioning European labor markets. The principles are about good working conditions, the right to leisure, welfare and a salary that you can live on. These are principles that the vast majority of the players in Norwegian working life today are wholeheartedly behind. Then it is incomprehensible that there is widespread opposition in Norway towards establishing an agency whose goals and basis of existence is to promote these principles precisely.
The European Labor Authority (ELA) is an EU agency that is expected to be operational during 2019, after the EU institutions agreed in February. For the approximately 17 million employees who work in a different Member State than their own, ELA will be able to provide valuable information about the rights and duties they have. The Agency will also work to strengthen cooperation between the member states and ensure that EU common rules are properly enforced across borders. ELA will take part in coordinating actions against black work and other forms of illegal practice. Where conflicts arise between member states, ELA will mediate and facilitate solutions without having to go to court. All of these are necessary and long-awaited tools that will contribute to a safer and fairer European labor market – for all Union workers.
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