SP calls on European Commissioner Thyssen to stand firm in combating exploitation

10 May 2016

SP calls on European Commissioner Thyssen to stand firm in combating exploitation

Today it will become clear whether sufficient member states have shown the yellow card to European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen’s Posted Workers’ Directive. Under the yellow card procedure, member states can vote to send proposals back to the Commission for reconsideration. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “If there is indeed enough support for the yellow card procedure, the Commission will be forced to rethink its proposals. The objectors are primarily central and eastern European member states who clearly don’t mind their workers being subject to exploitation when they are posted to another EU country. In the European Parliament I’m hoping to collect as many signatures as possible on a letter to Thyssen calling on her to stand by her proposals.”

The objections of the member states who have produced the yellow card are based in particular on the fact that the directive, aimed at improving the enforcement of the rules applied to posted workers, must be accepted by all countries before June 18th. They want first of all to wait and see how the existing directive works before they discuss Thyssen’s proposals. “In my letter to Thyssen I do go into this,” says De Jong. “As a concession the Commissioner could promise that by the middle of next year, rather than in 2019, she will bring out an evaluation report. I actually find all of this nonsensical, because in sectors such as the building trade, agriculture and horticulture you don’t have to look very far before you come across instances of exploitation of posted workers. But if some countries must have an evaluation report, then that’s fine, as long as it doesn’t delay consideration of the proposals.”

Earlier in the debate De Jong has been critical of Thyssen’s proposals, which he has described as full of holes. “I haven’t dropped these criticisms,” he insists, “but I had and continue to have the hope that we can further improve the Posting of Workers Directive via targeted amendments. That can only happen, however, if Thyssen doesn’t withdraw her proposals. That’s why I’m calling on her to continue with the legislative process.”

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