Last December 14th, the European Parliament rejected, by majority vote, the report of Mrs Mathieu (EPP) on the single residence and work permit for third-country nationals. This majority recommended a new report to be submitted within two months. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) wishes to stress that the future of the labour market is at stake. It calls on its member organisations to mobilise on this issue.

In the chaotic proceedings of the European Parliament we are witnessing an attempt to adopt a Directive that could have serious consequences for the labour market and for European society. More specifically, whereas spokespersons claim to defend equal treatment, the Directive actually excludes certain groups of workers, namely: seasonal workers, workers posted from third countries, intra-group workers, and workers who arrive under a General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

For Joël Decaillon, Deputy General Secretary of ETUC, it is altogether regrettable that a Directive which will have a strong impact on our labour market is not discussed in the European Parliament’s employment committee. He declared: “We have already reproached the European Commission for not having engaged in social consultations before initiating this Directive, all the more so as there are very serious risks of further fragmenting the European labour market.” ETUC has called on its national organisations to do their utmost to address this issue.



15 December 2010

The European Parliament (EP) has not adopted the framework directive on the single permit for foreign workers but instead has extended the debate for a further two months. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) continues to raise concerns about this text.

As underlined by Joël Decaillon, ETUC’s Deputy General Secretary, at a meeting of the European Parliament last week: "We now have a draft directive which ignores the principle of equal treatment, adds to the number of exemptions and will result in a wide variety of workers’ statutes. This in turn will increase social dumping, the lack of job security, the instability and the vulnerability of groups of workers in Europe and will lead to further competition which is the exact opposite of the spirit in which the immigration package was initially intended".

Moreover, contrary to the declarations of Commissioner Malmström, there was no consultation of nor any genuine dialogue with the social partners regarding this draft directive. The ETUC, which supports a framework directive on migrant workers based on equal treatment and non-discrimination principles, urges the EP to take advantage of the coming period to engage in a real debate on the subject with the social partners.

The ETUC is calling on all trade union organizations to pursue and develop this debate with the members of the European Parliament in their respective countries to ensure that such a framework be built in accordance with the principles of the charter of fundamental rights included today in the European Treaties.

The ETUC, together with Belgian non-governmental organizations, has also delivered a petition to the Belgian presidency asking Member States to ratify the United Nations convention on migrant workers.


european migration policy must change course

7 December 2010

A delegation from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) met yesterday with some members of the European Parliament regarding the directives on migration currently under preparation. The ETUC expressed grave concern at how the European institutions are tackling and handling these directives, because they do not take account of their direct impact on the employment market.

Joël Decaillon, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, stated: ‘These new proposed directives are bound to further fragment the labour market and facilitate social dumping in Europe. The directive for the single permit should be a framework law covering all rights for all workers without exception, guided by the principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination’.

Mr Decaillon reminded the MEPs in attendance (Christian democrats, social democrats, Greens and the United Left) of the need to hold a mesured debate on these issues, because the consequences could be extremely serious for our societies. That is why he invited them to vote on 14 December on the proposed single permit in favour of the amendments establishing equality of treatment in order to avoid the adoption of an antisocial directive on first reading.