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Parliamentary questions
PDF 38kWORD 9k
26 May 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Antonius Manders (PPE)
 Subject: Setting harmonised EU standards on housing conditions for EU labour migrants

It recently became apparent from Dutch and German media reports that EU labour migrants working in some areas of the agricultural sector, and in slaughterhouses in particular, are at greater risk of being infected with COVID-19. One contributory factor is that inadequate, and sometimes even inhuman, transport and housing conditions, with two adults often sharing a room of 8 m 2 , make it impossible to respect social distancing rules. Companies that hire migrant workers often ‘hide’ behind employment agencies and subcontractors. Germany responded with new legislation within one week.

1. Does the Commission agree that this situation borders on slavery, is a danger to public health, violates human rights and EU values, and perpetuates unfair competition with the local workforce?

2. Is the Commission willing to introduce a European housing standard for labour migrants, thereby optimising the functioning of the single market and ensuring that human rights and EU values are respected?

3. Is the Commission willing to support the introduction of a legal enforcement system and to make companies that hire EU labour migrants liable if those standards are breached, so that these companies ensure that migrant workers’ housing conditions are compliant, rather than employment agencies and subcontractors?

Last updated: 11 June 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy