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Parliamentary questions
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12 July 2019
Question for written answer P-002250-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Leila Chaibi (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Workers' rights and the responsibilities of multinationals — New Look in Europe
 Answer in writing 

The multinational New Look built its economic success by establishing itself in a number of EU countries: the UK, Poland, Belgium and France, for example. The brand has drawn considerable benefits from our economic market, be it through the work of its EU-based employees, consumer purchases, or public support (such as the tax credit for employment and competitiveness, CICE).

Now, however, following large-scale redundancies and having closed stores in Poland, the UK and Belgium, the brand is closing its stores in France. On Friday 5 July 2019, the French courts ruled that the re-employment costs incurred would be covered by the taxpayer. The same thing happened in Belgium.

The paradox is striking: a company can draw significant benefits from a system, but when the time comes for it to shoulder its legal, tax and social responsibilities, it applies to go into receivership and forces Member States to take charge of its employees’ minimum rights.

The EU should guarantee these rights and require multinationals to meet their responsibilities. The move by New Look is anything but an isolated case, as other multinationals are behaving in much the same way.

How is the Commission planning to put an end to these scandalous practices?

How will it ensure that New Look meets its responsibilities towards employees in France?

Original language of question: FR 
Last updated: 18 July 2019Legal notice