Freedom of movement for workers: How to respond to local workers fears of being crowded out of the labour market
Freedom of movement for workers is one of the founding principles of the European Union but it has also created fears of unfair competition. How can we address these doubts, protect the working conditions and, at the same time, avoid distortions in the labour market?
The European Commission has proposed legislative measures related to free movement, in particular to avoid social dumping. Some member States are debating how to enforce local regulations while also maintaining flexibility in the job market and open borders between countries.
Switzerland has a long experience in this field since the bilateral Agreement with the EU on the free movement of persons entered into force in 2002 (AFMP). Switzerland introduced in 2004 flanking measures in order to protect the working conditions that apply in Switzerland, in conformity with the AFMP. New measures are being discussed on a regular basis. In 2016, following a popular vote on immigration, the Swiss parliament decided to improve the access of foreign and Swiss residents to information on job vacancies. This immigration law respects the Agreement of free movement of persons between the EU and Switzerland.
EURACTIV invites you to this high-level forum to discuss the future of freedom of movement for workers. Questions will include:
- What are the best measures to protect workers? How can States avoid social dumping?
- What is the role of the EU and national institutions?
- How can social stakeholders be involved and make a difference?
- What lessons can be drawn from the Swiss experience in managing FMP to inspire similar measures in the EU?
Euractiv Network Office
Boulevard Charlemagne 1, 1041 Brussels
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Boris Zücher, Head of the Labour Directorate, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Jordi Curell Gotor, Director Labour Mobility, DG EMPL
Agnes Jongerius MEP, Vice-Chair EMPL Committee, European Parliament
Séverine Picard, Legal Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
12:00 – 12:30 Registration and networking reception
12:30 – 13:00 Opening statements
13:00 – 14:00 Discussion and Q&A