• Providing mobile workers and employers with information on their rights and obligations 
  • Mediation role in case of disputes between member states 
  • Coordination of joint and concerted inspections 
  • Operational by 2021 

MEPs established a permanent European authority dealing with issues linked to labour mobility and coordinating social security systems within the EU.

The text adopted on Tuesday, already agreed with EU ministers, says that the European Labour Authority (ELA) will assist member states and the European Commission in applying and enforcing the relevant European Union law in the field of labour mobility across the EU and coordinating social security systems. The text was adopted by 472 votes to 142 with 39 abstentions. 

Providing information on labour mobility

The Authority should improve access to information by individuals and employers, in particular SMEs, about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility, free movement of services and social security coordination in order to tap the full potential of the internal market.

Mediation role

The Authority may facilitate finding a solution if there are disputes between two or more member states on individual cases of how to apply EU law on labour mobility issues, without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Mediation may only be carried out with the agreement of all member states concerned; it will serve to reconcile divergent points of view between the member states concerned by the dispute and to adopt a non-binding opinion.

Risk assessments and joint inspections

The ELA will, in cooperation with member states and, where appropriate, social partner organisations, assess risks and analyse labour mobility and social security coordination across the EU.

At the request of one or more member states, the Authority will coordinate and support concerted or joint inspections in the areas under the scope of the ELA’s competences.

Seat of the ELA

It has not yet been decided in which EU member state and city the ELA will be placed. The Parliament will have a say on the final decision on the seat of the Authority.

Fully operational by 2021

The Authority will start working in 2019 and become operational - with the capacity to implement its own budget - within two years of the entry into force of the Regulation, which means no later than 2021.


The rapporteur, Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL), said: “Europe is more than market and trade; we also need a sincere free movement of workers across borders. More than 17 million Europeans today work in a different country than theirs of origin. The European Labour Authority will help make sure that workers’ rights are respected and that workers do not fall victims of social dumping."

Next steps

The legislation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.


The abrupt increase in the number of Europeans working in a member state other than that of their origin, the large number of daily commuters and the need to provide information on job opportunities and rights at home and abroad necessitates the establishment of a European-level coordinating body.

The concept of a European Labour Authority is closely related to three principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights: active support for employment, secure and adaptable employment and social protection.