The European directive for posted workers, as it is currently applied, is “a betrayal of the fundamental aspects of the spirit of European legislation.” This attack came on Wednesday from the French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Salzburg (Austria). This was the first day of a European mini-tour to promote a tightening of the framework in the text of the directive.
In a statement made by the side of Austrian Chancellor, Christian Kern, he stressed that both countries had a “perfect alignment” of views in this case. This is because both the French and Austrian governments consider that the directive favours social dumping, which benefits the countries of Eastern Europe.
Mr Macron stressed, “The single European market and the free movement of workers simply has the aim of favouring countries which promote the least form of social protection.” He went on, “These aspects, within our two countries, feed populism and erode confidence in the European project.” A meeting with the Czech and Slovak leaders was anticipated for the end of yesterday afternoon in the Austrian city.
The French President, who made posted workers a theme of his election campaign and who is supported in this point by Germany, hopes to convince enough countries, in particular in Eastern Europe, to obtain a majority in favour of reform of the directive during a European meeting on October 23rd. On Thursday and Friday he will go to Romania and Bulgaria.
Dating back to 1996, the directive enables an EU business to send its workers, on a temporary basis, to other EU countries. Whilst doing so, the business can continue to pay National Insurance Contributions, or their equivalent, in the country of origin.