Answer given by Mr Špidla on behalf of the Commission
Clause 5.1 of the framework agreement annexed to the Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP(1) requires the Member States to introduce measures to prevent abuse arising from the use of successive fixed-term contracts or relationships taking into account the needs of specific sectors and categories of workers. Pursuant to Clause 5.2 of the same framework agreement the Member States shall, where appropriate, determine under what conditions fixed-term employment contracts or relationships shall be deemed to be contracts or relationships of indefinite duration.
With respect to the first question of the Honourable Member concerning the alleged distinction between public and private sector, it should be noted that the agreement applies to all fixed-term workers who have an employment contract or employment relationship as defined in law, collective agreements or practice in each Member State with limited possibilities for derogations at the national level only in relation to certain training contracts and apprenticeship schemes (Clause 2 of the framework agreement).
Malta communicated the transposition of Directive 1999/70/EC on 25 March 2004.
The Commission has in the meantime received a complaint which raises the issue of the quality of the transposition of the Directive 1999/70/EC in the public sector of Malta. Within the framework of this complaint the Commission services have asked the authorities in Malta to provide specific information on the national legislation in this field. Should the examination of the legislation or the complaint show that Malta has not transposed correctly or entirely the Directive 1999/70/EC, the Commission will take all the necessary steps to bring Malta in line with the Community law.