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Parliamentary questions
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25 April 2018
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001052/2018

1. The Commission recalls that the management of the European Social Fund (ESF) is based on the principle of shared management, which means that the general guidelines are drafted at EU level, while implementation on the ground is the responsibility of the competent national or regional authorities in each Member State. In relation to the specific case, the Commission will ask the Member State for more details in order to assess the extent of the practice and any expenditure which might not be in compliance with Union law or national law.

2. On the basis of the information received by the Member State, the Commission will assess the compliance of the practice, as described by the Honourable Member, with the Council Recommendation of 10 March 2014 on a Quality Framework for Traineeships. The Commission will also monitor the situation through established mechanisms, such as the Employment Committee reviews and the European semester.

3. Clause 4 of the framework Agreement on fixed-term work(1) provides for a principle of non-discrimination between fixed-term workers and permanent workers in respect of employment conditions. Member States are furthermore required by Clause 5 to put in place measures to prevent the abuse of fixed-term contracts. Thus, if the trainees in question are in fact regular workers then any non-compliant practices can be addressed by using the appropriate redress mechanisms available at national level, including litigation. EC law does however not lay down an obligation to provide for the conversion of fixed-term contracts into indefinite ones.

(1)Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ 1999 L 175, p. 43) — http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1520866742230&uri=CELEX:01999L0070-19990710

Last updated: 25 April 2018Legal notice