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  • 14 Dec 2016
    Towards a coherent EU labour immigration policy with regard to the EU Blue Card Adopted References: SOC/539 EESC-2016-02508-00-00-ac Referral - Rapporteur: Clever (Employers - GR I / Germany) Plenary Session: 521 - 14 Dec 2016 - 15 Dec 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

    The opinion welcomes the revision of the Blue Card, since it makes the card more attractive as a way of entering the EU.

    However, the Committee considers that Commission's proposal to replace parallel national schemes with a single EU-wide scheme goes too far, and prefers that Member States maintain their own routes for admitting highly qualified workers alongside the EU Blue Card.

    The opinion agrees with the measures to facilitate granting of the card, but expresses scepticism about the application of lower salary thresholds.

    Finally the opinion recalls that equal opportunities and non-discrimination must be guaranteed in the employing of third-county nationals and that close involvement of national and European social partners is needed in this field.

     

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    EESC opinion: Towards a coherent EU labour immigration policy with regard to the EU Blue Card

  • 14 Dec 2016
    Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive Adopted References: SOC/541 EESC-2016-02470-00-00-ac-tra Referral - Rapporteur: Nygren (Workers-Group II - Sweden) & Drbalová (Employers-Group I - Czech Republic) Plenary Session: 521 - 14 Dec 2016 - 15 Dec 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

    The EESC opinion on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive was adopted with 180 votes in favour, 84 against and 30 abstentions. A counter opinion on the same subject was put forward and not carried, receiving 94 for, 175 against and 23 abstentions.

     

    In its opinion, the EESC supports in principle the Commission's proposed recast of the Posting of Workers Directive. The principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place is the cornerstone of the pillar of social rights in Europe.

     

    Regarding the question of "remuneration", some EESC members consider that this newly-introduced concept is the only way to ensure equal working conditions for both posted and local workers, eliminating wage differentials and guaranteeing a level playing field among companies. Other EESC members believe that the introduction of this new concept could result in less legal certainty and clarity and increasing administrative and financial burdens for foreign service providers that post workers.

     

    Regarding the maximum duration of posting, the EESC considered that the limit of 24 months is a step in the right direction, but a limit of 6 months would be closer to real business conditions.

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    EESC opinion: Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

  • 14 Dec 2016
    CEAS Reform II Adopted References: SOC/547 EESC-2016-04410-00-00-ac Referral - Rapporteur: Moreno Díaz (Workers - GR II / Spain) Co-rapporteur: Pîrvulescu (Various interests - GR III / Romania) Plenary Session: 521 - 14 Dec 2016 - 15 Dec 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

    In this opinion the EESC supports further harmonisation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and welcomes the proposed improvements. However, it is concerned about some limitations of fundamental rights of asylum seekers. It sets out specific recommendations on the three proposals for: the Qualification Regulation, the Common Procedure Regulation and the Standards of Reception Directive, taking into account the human rights perspective, in line with the opinion on CEAS Reform I.

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    EESC opinion: CEAS Reform II

  • 13 Dec 2016
    European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS) Ongoing References: SOC/556 Referral - Rapporteur: Simons (Employers - GR I / Netherlands)
  • 19 Oct 2016
    Concluding observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the European Union – A new strategy for persons with disabilities in the European Union Adopted References: SOC/538 EESC-2016-00695-00-00-ac Own-initiative Rapporteur: Vardakastanis (Various interests - GR III / Greece) Plenary Session: 520 - 19 Oct 2016 - 20 Oct 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

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    EESC opinion: Concluding observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the European Union – A new strategy for persons with disabilities in the European Union

  • 19 Oct 2016
    New psychoactive substances Adopted References: SOC/551 EESC-2016-05495-00-00-ac Referral - Plenary Session: 520 - 19 Oct 2016 - 20 Oct 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

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    EESC opinion: New psychoactive substances

  • 19 Oct 2016
    European control mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights Adopted References: SOC/536 EESC-2016-01275-00-01-ac Own-initiative Rapporteur: Moreno Diaz (Workers - GR II / Spain) Co-rapporteur: Topolánszky (Various interests - GR III / Hungary) Plenary Session: 520 - 19 Oct 2016 - 20 Oct 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

    Alarming political decisions have shown that the EU lacks adequate instruments to safeguard fundamental values and the rule of law. A new European mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights is needed. The mechanism should include a regular assessment of Member States in a governance "policy coordination cycle", similar to the European Semester. The EESC should play an active role, as this will make for strong civil society involvement. The mechanism must be based on indicators, taking into account the indivisibility of fundamental economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights.

     

     

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    EESC opinion: European control mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights

  • 19 Oct 2016
    CEAS Reform I Adopted References: SOC/543 EESC-2016-02981-00-00-ac Referral - Rapporteur: Moreno Díaz (Workers - GR II / Spain) Plenary Session: 520 - 19 Oct 2016 - 20 Oct 2016 (Summary Plenary Session)

    An efficient reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is essential. While the EESC approves of the proposal to improve and speed up the determination of Member State responsible for examining an asylum application, it calls for including protective provisions on procedural issues, individual treatment of applications, maintenance of discretionary clauses, maintenance of the deadline for the cessation of obligation for a Member State to assume responsibility and the rights of applicants.

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    EESC opinion: CEAS Reform I

  • 21 Sep 2016
    The rights of live-in care workers Adopted References: SOC/535 EESC-2016-00941-00-00-ac Own-initiative Rapporteur: Rogalewski (Workers - GR II / Poland) Plenary Session: 519 - 21 Sep 2016 - 22 Sep 2016 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 487, 28.12.2016, p. 7–13

    Europe's population is getting older. While demand for homecare grows, exploitative conditions persist among "live-in" carer workers, who work in the least regulated informal and semi-formal segments of the sector. The EESC calls on the European Union to work closely with Member States to coordinate the supply and mobility of live-in care workers and respect their rights as part of an overall approach to improve this sector.

    No EU institution has so far addressed the issues surrounding live-in care workers, a social group that is expanding as population ages in Europe. The EESC believes that their existence in the European labour market must be recognised and the quality of the services they deliver improved. They should be treated in a similar way to other care workers and enjoy similar protection. Financial support for care recipients also needs to be made available through adequate long-term and sustainable social investment.

     

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    EESC opinion: The rights of live-in care workers

  • 21 Sep 2016
    The use of Entry/Exit system Adopted References: SOC/544 EESC-2016-03098-00-02-ac Referral - Rapporteur: Pîrvulescu (Various interests - GR III / Romania) Plenary Session: 519 - 21 Sep 2016 - 22 Sep 2016 (Summary Plenary Session) JO C 487 du 28.12.2016, p. 66–69

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    EESC opinion: The use of Entry/Exit system

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