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A new directive on work-life balance

02-04-2019

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Posting of Workers Directive

31-05-2018

Posting of workers plays an important role in the internal market, particularly in the cross-border provision of services. While the number of posted workers continues to increase significantly, problems such as unfair practices and unequal remuneration persist. In addition, the correct balance between the freedom to provide cross-border services and the social rights of workers is needed, and moreover, needs to be adapted to today’s labour market situation. The targeted revision of the Posting of ...

Posting of workers plays an important role in the internal market, particularly in the cross-border provision of services. While the number of posted workers continues to increase significantly, problems such as unfair practices and unequal remuneration persist. In addition, the correct balance between the freedom to provide cross-border services and the social rights of workers is needed, and moreover, needs to be adapted to today’s labour market situation. The targeted revision of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) proposed by the Commission intended to bring changes in three main areas: the remuneration of posted workers (making it equal to that of local workers, even when subcontracting), more coherent rules on temporary agency workers, as well as long-term posting. The provisional agreement reached in trilogue negotiations states that long-term posting (with labour law provisions of the host country to be applied) starts after 12 months (with a possible extension of six months). The overall amount of remuneration received by a posted worker must meet the level of remuneration in the host Member State (without the reimbursement of the worker’s expenses) which must be published on a single national website. Host Member States can accord to posted workers the coverage of representative collective agreements in all sectors, and they must protect them against fraudulent posting. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - March 2018

12-03-2018

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Revision of the Blue Card Directive

12-12-2017

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU’s key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU’s population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering ...

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU’s key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU’s population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering criteria for admission, expanding the rights of beneficiaries, and abolishing parallel national schemes. Stakeholders and experts agree with some proposed changes, while others have received more criticism (for example, the abolition of national schemes). The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has adopted its report, and voted to open interinstitutional negotiations. The Council has also agreed its mandate and trilogue meetings started in September 2017. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

De jure versus de facto labour rights in China

20-06-2017

For China, striking the right balance between using its abundant, cheap workforce as a competitive advantage and protecting labour rights has been a major challenge. Although China has developed a considerable body of law governing labour relations, there is still a huge gap between the labour rights on the statute books and those enjoyed by workers in practice. Over-riding economic interests to attract foreign investors and to boost economic growth have seriously undermined effective labour rights ...

For China, striking the right balance between using its abundant, cheap workforce as a competitive advantage and protecting labour rights has been a major challenge. Although China has developed a considerable body of law governing labour relations, there is still a huge gap between the labour rights on the statute books and those enjoyed by workers in practice. Over-riding economic interests to attract foreign investors and to boost economic growth have seriously undermined effective labour rights enforcement. China's vanishing demographic dividend may require a new balance.

Labour rights in Export Processing Zones with a focus on GSP+ beneficiary countries

15-06-2017

The European Union’s GSP+ scheme provides trade concessions to beneficiary countries and obliges them to ratify and effectively implement key international conventions on human rights and labour rights. The sectoral gains of GSP+ have thus far been concentrated on exports of apparel, textiles and processed fish. Such sectors are often located in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) where the governance of labour rights may differ from the rest of the country and fall below international legal standards ...

The European Union’s GSP+ scheme provides trade concessions to beneficiary countries and obliges them to ratify and effectively implement key international conventions on human rights and labour rights. The sectoral gains of GSP+ have thus far been concentrated on exports of apparel, textiles and processed fish. Such sectors are often located in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) where the governance of labour rights may differ from the rest of the country and fall below international legal standards. This study examines the apparel sectors of Pakistan, Mongolia and Sri Lanka and the processed fish sector of the Philippines. The importance of EPZs to exports under the GSP+ varies by country and sector. Only in Pakistan are EPZs legally exempt from rights relating to freedom of association and collective bargaining. But restrictions on these and other rights in practice remain widespread, and are not confined to EPZs. Efforts to promote labour rights through the GSP+ should focus on key export sectors benefitting from the scheme and consider EPZs alongside other sites of the supply chain where exploited workers are based.

Understanding social dumping in the European Union

21-03-2017

Although a recurring term in discussions related to working mobility, wages and the social security of workers, social dumping has neither a generally accepted definition, nor easily definable limits. It is rather a set of practices on an international, national or inter-corporate level, aimed at gaining an advantage over competitors, which could have important negative consequences on economic processes and workers’ social security. Examples include actions taken by actors from 'low wage' Member ...

Although a recurring term in discussions related to working mobility, wages and the social security of workers, social dumping has neither a generally accepted definition, nor easily definable limits. It is rather a set of practices on an international, national or inter-corporate level, aimed at gaining an advantage over competitors, which could have important negative consequences on economic processes and workers’ social security. Examples include actions taken by actors from 'low wage' Member States to gain market advantage over actors from Member States with higher pay and social standards; multinational companies from 'high wage' countries searching for ways to avoid legal constraints by employing subcontractors from low-wage countries; and companies engaging cheaper and more vulnerable temporary and agency workers, or relocating production to lower wage and less regulated locations. Social dumping takes different forms in different sectors. Suppressing social dumping is a component of different regulations on working mobility, undeclared work, and the status of transport workers. However, as the legislative competence of the European Union is limited in the labour law domain, soft law and social dialogue are also used to tackle the phenomenon. Several cases before the Court of Justice of the EU (such as the Viking and the Laval cases) show that the applicable EU rules can only be effective if adequate implementation and enforcement by the Member States is guaranteed. In September 2016, the European Parliament adopted an own-initiative resolution on social dumping, calling for a number of actions to reinforce controls, close regulatory gaps, revise working conditions and promote social convergence.

Trade and sustainable development chapters in CETA

20-01-2017

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration ...

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration in environmental and labour conditions. In keeping with this trade policy practice, developed over the years, trade-related sustainability provisions, including labour and environmental considerations, are grouped in three chapters (Chapters 22 to 24) within CETA. CETA has only partially exceeded the dialogue-only approach contained in earlier EU trade agreements and has maintained the exclusion of trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters from the scope of the state-to-state dispute settlement (SSDS) procedure. It also maintains an ad hoc two-stage dispute resolution mechanism already found in the EU-South Korea FTA. However, this mechanism does not include sanctions and focuses on mutually agreed solutions to problems. This choice by the EU is due to the still strongly cooperative nature of the TSD chapters. On CETA please refer also to the 'International Agreements in Progress' briefing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada by Wilhelm Schöllmann.

The New EU Blue Card Directive

29-09-2016

The Impact Assessment makes a convincing case for the need for action to overhaul the current Blue Card Directive. The IA is substantiated by sound and comprehensive research (in the form of 16 annexes) and external expertise, as well as wide consultation taking international immigration systems aiming to attract highly skilled workers into account. Although not all of the options presented appear viable, the European Commission makes a genuine attempt to identify solutions to the problem. The limited ...

The Impact Assessment makes a convincing case for the need for action to overhaul the current Blue Card Directive. The IA is substantiated by sound and comprehensive research (in the form of 16 annexes) and external expertise, as well as wide consultation taking international immigration systems aiming to attract highly skilled workers into account. Although not all of the options presented appear viable, the European Commission makes a genuine attempt to identify solutions to the problem. The limited data, about which the Commission is transparent, suggests that the quantitative evidence used in the IA, in particular regarding the economic impacts, might merit further exploration. Finally, it would have been useful if the IA had provided a link to the external IA study that underpins the Commission’s IA.        

Turkey: Labour Market Integration and Social Inclusion of Refugees

15-09-2016

This Policy Department A note produced at request of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee provides a review of integration policies at the national level. It identifies the challenges and opportunities that both immigrants and local communities face. Various aspects of the Labour Market Integration and Social Inclusion of Refugees are elaborated by the presentation of legal framework and practices from Turkey. The note depicts that Turkey has taken significant steps on the regulations which ...

This Policy Department A note produced at request of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee provides a review of integration policies at the national level. It identifies the challenges and opportunities that both immigrants and local communities face. Various aspects of the Labour Market Integration and Social Inclusion of Refugees are elaborated by the presentation of legal framework and practices from Turkey. The note depicts that Turkey has taken significant steps on the regulations which aim to create an attractive economic environment and to facilitate the application process of work permissions for foreigners as part of integration policies. Furthermore, social integration policies are rather weak and started to develop since the recent immigration flow from Syria. Even though there have been improvements in the integration policies, policy makers should focus on the implementation of more stable and long term policies and practices.

Външен автор

Ahmet İçduygu

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