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Parliamentary questions
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28 April 2021
Answer given by Mr Schmit
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000893/2021

1. The Court of Justice of the EU indicated(1) that honorary magistrates may have worker status for the purpose of both the Working Time Directive(2) and the framework Agreement on fixed-term work(3), but left the final analysis to the referring court. The Court held that differences in working conditions between honorary magistrates and ordinary judges — in this specific case entitlements to paid annual leave — were contrary to the framework Agreement, unless such a difference in treatment was justified by differences in the qualifications required and the nature of the duties undertaken.

In the light of this judgment, the Commission is examining the national legislation governing the working conditions of honorary magistrates and ordinary judges in Italy in relation to the application of EU labour law(4). Based on the outcome this investigation, the Commission will decide whether to launch an infringement procedure.

2. The Commission is closely following the situation regarding the effectiveness of justice systems in all Member States, including Italy, in the context of the European Rule of Law Mechanism, the EU Justice Scoreboard and the European Semester. As to the efficiency of justice system, the monitoring includes the envisaged reforms of the Italian civil and criminal procedure, and the measures strengthening human resources in the justice system.

3. The Commission works closely with national authorities and social partners to disseminate of good practices regarding the protection of workers’ rights, not least in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

(1) See Judgment of 16 July 2020, C-658/ 18, UX v Governo della Repubblica italiana, EU:C:2020:572.
(2)Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time , OJ L 299, 18.11.2003, p. 9‐19.
(3)Framework Agreement on fixed-term work concluded on 18 March 1999, which is annexed to Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP, OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p. 43‐48.
(4)Notably the framework Agreement on fixed-term work annexed to Council Directive 1999/70/EC, the framework Agreement on part-time work annexed to Council Directive 97/81/EC, the Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC, and the Pregnant Workers Directive 92/85/EEC.
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