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European Union risks breakup without social dumping reform: Macron

24 Août 2017

The French and Austrian leaders said the period under which posted workers - who work temporarily in another European Union state - can stay overseas and still pay social contributions in their home country should be reduced from two years to one.

France's Emmanuel Macron said expert teams would discuss the contentious issue in the coming weeks.

While overseas, posted workers continue to pay into the tax and social security systems of their home countries, allowing employers to hire them for less than in Western countries where welfare costs are higher. Macron has criticised the two countries repeatedly for harming the unity of the EU.

Western European countries have been concerned that this leads to labour dumping by eroding wages and standards, especially through Eastern European workers.

Dating back to 1996, the directive enables an European Union business to send its workers, on a temporary basis, to other European Union countries.

In 2015 there were 2.05 million posted workers in the EU, the European Commission says.

Les négociations avancent — Travailleurs détachés
Il fut finalement rejeté par une dizaine de pays, principalement de l'Est de l'Europe, qui dénoncent des velléités protectionnistes.

One of his goals is to reduce unemployment in France - still high at 9.6% in June. Meanwhile, the concept of "the same salary for the same work in the same location" is now deemed acceptable by Slovakia, TASR wrote. France wants to make 12 months the maximum period that a worker can be "posted".

"The European directive on detached workers in its current format is a betrayal of the European spirit", Macron said in the Austrian city of Salzburg at the start of his tour.

Poland is the country that benefits most from the Posted Workers Directive. But Mr Iohannis added that many eastern Europeans wanted to work in western countries, and their interests had to be respected.

Posting workers is especially common in the construction and manufacturing industries.

All Slovak ministers gave their approval for the rule prior to the meeting between Prime Minister Robert Fico and his counterparts Bohuslav Sobotka from the Czech Republic, Christian Kern from Austria and French President Emmanuel Macron in Salzburg on August 23. The Laval case concerned Latvian workers posted to building sites in Sweden, and the Finnish ferry company Viking Line got backing for its hiring of Estonians.

European Union risks breakup without social dumping reform: Macron