- The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) considers it necessary to reiterate the importance of combating the shadow economy and undeclared work.
- In the face of the serious on-going economic crisis in Europe, the EESC would highlight the negative impact of such phenomena in terms of company growth trends and on opportunities for innovation and developing human resources.
- Although these policies are the responsibility of the Member States, it is widely recognised that to be effective in this area it is necessary to arrange for the systematic exchange of information, data and studies at European Union (EU) level, so as to secure the involvement and cooperation of the competent authorities and the social partners concerned.
- By its very nature, the EESC is therefore the ideal forum within which to nurture and encourage the sharing of tools, policies and best practice, in order to take action with regard to economic factors and also the cultural and social context, against the backdrop of the EU defined strategy for combating irregular employment and tax evasion, which is based on an inclusive formal labour market.
- The EESC therefore recommends addressing the problem of the methodology for estimating the scale and development of the shadow economy and undeclared work, which is as yet incomplete and fragmented, by applying a method based on workforce surveys carried out in the same way in all the Member States. This method has been developed by the Italian national institute of statistics, and has therefore been tested in a country that is particularly vulnerable to these phenomena, and that also has great regional differences.
- The EESC calls for the fight against the shadow economy to look beyond EU borders and for corporate social responsibility to be applied where minimum decent working standards are lacking in third countries subcontracting for EU companies.
Hearing 5 June 2013