DECISION (EU) 2016/344 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9th March 2016 on establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work
This matter goes as far back as 18th April 2012 when in a communication entitled, ‘Towards a job rich recovery’, the Commission highlighted the need for improved cooperation among Member States and announced the launch of consultations on setting up a platform at Union level between labour inspectors and other enforcement authorities to combat undeclared work, aimed at improving cooperation, sharing best practices and identifying common principles for inspections.
Problems arise within the European Union when residents of one member state go to work in another state but do not declare said work in their place of permanent residence so this task force has the mission of setting up a Platform across Europe where such information can be contrasted as detailed in Article 4. Not only that but EU Commissioner for Employment, László Andor stated in a conference in April of 2014 that “undeclared work deprives workers of social protection, puts their health and safety at risk and lowers labour standards. It also undermines fair competition for businesses and endangers the sustainability of public finances and social security systems.”
Article 4.- Objectives: The defining purpose of the Platform shall be to provide input with added value at Union level in order to contribute to tackling the complex problem of undeclared work, while fully respecting national competences and procedures. The Platform shall contribute to more effective Union and national actions aiming to improve working conditions, promote integration in the labour market and social inclusion, including better enforcement of law within those fields, and to the reduction of undeclared work and the emergence of formal jobs, thus avoiding the deterioration of the quality of work and of health and safety at work, by:
(a) enhancing cooperation between Member States’ relevant authorities and other actors involved in order to tackle more efficiently and effectively undeclared work in its various forms and falsely declared work associated with it, including bogus self-employment
(b) improving the capacity of Member States’ different relevant authorities and actors to tackle undeclared work with regard to its cross-border aspects, and in this way contributing to a level playing field
(c) increasing public awareness of issues relating to undeclared work and of the urgent need for appropriate action as well as encouraging Member States to step up their efforts to tackle undeclared work
The Decision goes on to detail how the Platform should function but to summarize; each Member State must appoint a senior representative as a voting member of the Platform. The Platform must meet at least twice a year. By 13th March 2020, the European Commission, after consulting the Platform, must submit a complete report on the application and value of this Decision to the European Parliament as well as other Departments and Committees where any amendments may be proposed. The report must also state the extent in which the Platform has achieved the objectives set out in Article 4, whether the parameters of the mission have been fulfilled and how well the Platform performed as a whole.
It would seem that Europe is getting smaller by the day with Member States cooperating to a higher level in order to ensure people do not continue to take advantage of the system but it does make me wonder why nobody thought of this type of problem arising before now. If the purpose of the Union is to operate as a unit, it would only make sense to have a central database for this exact purpose…