EU Takes Action Against 7 Countries Over Seasonal Worker Rights Compliance

European Union
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The European Commission has imposed sanctions on Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Finland for their inability to comply with the requirements for allowing non-EU seasonal workers to work in their countries.

The Commission claims that the Seasonal Workers Directive has not been fully implemented in these seven EU nations.

For this reason, the EU authority has sent formal letters to Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Finland, opening an infringement procedure.

The Seasonal Workers Directive, which was introduced in 2014, aims to ensure transparency as well as fairness in the requirement of seasonal workers from third countries.

The Directive sets out regulations to guarantee that the Member States offer decent working and living conditions, equal rights, and protection from exploitation for foreign skilled workers.

Moreover, the proper implementation of the Directive is essential for attracting needed workers while at the same time preventing irregular migration to the bloc.

The 7 EU Countries Have 2 Months to Address Commission’s Concerns

Since Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Finland have failed to meet all the conditions set out in the Directive properly, they will now have to apply changes to their system and ensure that foreign skilled workers are subject to fair and transparent rules.

Following the issuance of the formal notices, the seven Member States now have two months to respond and address the concerns that have been raised by the Commission.

The Commission expects Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Finland to provide a satisfactory response on why they have failed to comply with the Seasonal Workers Directive.

If these countries are not able to provide a satisfactory response on the matter, the Commission might take extended measures and issue a reasoned opinion.

This is not the first time that the Commission has raised concerns about the Member States’ compliance with the Seasonal Workers Directive when admitting foreign workers.

In April of last year, the Commission also initiated infringement proceedings against Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg.

In addition, in December 2023, the Commission targeted other Member States too. Czechia, France, Croatia, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, and Poland were required in the last month of 2023 to apply the rules set out in the Directive properly.

Some Rules Included in the Seasonal Workers Directive

The Seasonal Workers Directive includes a set of rules. Some of them are the issuance of authorisation and sanctions for employers, among others.

In line with the Directive, for stays that do not exceed 90 days, EU Member States hiring third-country seasonal workers must issue authorisations to them – either a short-stay visa or a short-stay visa accompanied by a work permit.

Regarding employers who fail to fulfil their obligations under the Seasonal Workers Directive, the Member States are required to impose sanctions on them in order to ensure that all foreign seasonal workers are being treated fairly.

In addition to the above-mentioned, foreign seasonal workers shall be entitled to equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State in which they are working.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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