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Social Fairness and latest on EU-US trade relations

Commission adopts proposals for a European Labour Authority and for access to social protection: delivering further on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The European Commission took today new initiatives to further deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

More specifically, the Commission presented its proposal for a European Labour Authority, as announced by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address, as well as an initiative to ensure access to social protection for all workers and self-employed. These initiatives are accompanied by a Communication on the monitoring of the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which will be closely linked to the European Semester of policy coordination.

Over the last decade, the number of mobile citizens, people living and/or working in another Member State, has almost doubled to reach 17 million in 2017.

The European Labour Authority will help individuals, businesses and national administrations to get the most out of the opportunities offered by free movement and to ensure fair labour mobility. The objective of the Authority is three-fold.

First, the Authority will provide information to citizens and business on opportunities for jobs, apprenticeships, mobility schemes, recruitments and training, as well as guidance on rights and obligations to live, work and/or operate in another Member State of the EU.

Second, the Authority will support cooperation between national authorities in cross-border situations, by helping them ensure that the EU rules that protect and regulate mobility are easily and effectively followed.

Third, the European Labour Authority will be able to provide mediation and facilitate solutions in case of cross-border disputes, such as in the event of company restructuring involving several Member States.

The European Labour Authority will be established as a new decentralised EU agency and, following the completion of the EU legislative process, should be up and running in 2019.

The Commission also presented today a proposal for a Council Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and self-employed. Today, almost 40% of people employed are either in an atypical employment situation - meaning that they are not working under a full-time, open-ended contract - or self-employed. Such persons are not always well covered in terms of social security, lacking unemployment insurance or access to pension rights.

In line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, this proposal aims to set a direction for Member States to support access to social protection for all workers and self-employed, in particular for those who, due to their employment status, are not sufficiently covered by social security schemes.

The Recommendation foresees to close formal coverage gaps by ensuring that workers and the self-employed in comparable conditions can adhere to corresponding social security systems and to offer them adequate effective coverage, so that they can build up and claim adequate entitlements.

The proposal aims to facilitate the transfer of social security entitlements from one job to the next and to provide workers and the self-employed with transparent information about their social security entitlements and obligations.

Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Malmström met on Saturday US and Japanese Trade representatives on overcapacity of Chinese steel. They debriefed the College on the outcome of the meeting and on the latest on US tariffs on steel and aluminum. The European Union is a close ally of the US and we continue to be of the view that the EU should be exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium.

Dialogue is always a prime option for the EU. But of course the EU also continues its preparations to ensure a firm and proportionate response in line with the WTO rules in the event that US measures would be applied to the EU.

Source: EU Commission News

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