The Commission presents the European Labour Authority and the European Social Security Number

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee yesterday welcomed representatives of the European Commission to present the European Labour Authority, announced in September 2017 by President Jean-Claude Juncker, intended to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility and social rights are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way, due to the fast increase of the number of Europeans working in a Member State other than that of their origin.

The main objectives of the ELA are:

  • To facilitate access for individuals and employers to information on their rights and obligations as well as to relevant services.
  • To support cooperation between EU countries in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections.
  • To mediate and facilitate a solution in cases of cross-border disputes between national authorities or labour market disruptions.
  • To prepare the future of a global and general frame of a European Labour Market to be implemented by every Member State following the subsidiarity principle.

The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion presented the legislative proposal to the Members of the European Parliament highlighting, as objectives, to strengthen cooperation between labour market authorities at all levels and better managing of cross-border situations, as well as further initiatives in support of mobility, such as the European Social Security Number (ESSN) and predictable and transparent conditions at work.

The ESSN would facilitate the identification of persons across borders for the purposes of social security coordination and allow the quick and accurate verification of their social security insurance status. It would also facilitate administrative procedures for citizens by optimising the use of digital tools.

MEP Enrique Calvet Chambon, Coordinator of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs said:

“I welcome the project of creating the ELA, linked to the project of creating a Social Security European Number. All these steps are essential to set an European level playing field that should allow a full mobility of workers, which is an indispensable citizen right and a key tool to improve employment and social conditions in Europe. Politicians should not care, ALDE will ensure the subsidiarity principle is respected, but the future of European citizens is also our priority, linked to basic labour rights and obligations which need an European vision in a united market.”

After the meeting, and among other conclusions, the precise format of the ELA was questioned: As inspection and enforcement agency? As overarching agency? having Commission as an overarching body/agency instead?.

The ELA should be up and running in 2019 and reach its full operational capacity by 2023. This proposal is also part of the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights, an initiative supported by ALDE for employment, to promote minimal workplace rights and to deliver secure and adaptable employment and social protection.


More info: david.vidal@europarl.europa.eu