About 17 million European citizens currently live or work in another Member State – twice as many as a decade ago. The EU has developed a substantial body of legislation regulating different aspects of mobility, including free movement and posting of workers and social security coordination.

However, effectively enforcing EU rules across the Member States requires structured cooperation and exchange between competent national authorities, as well as resources for common activities, such as organising joint inspections or training national staff to deal with cross-border cases.

To address these issues the European Labour Authority (ELA) was announced in September 2017 by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the European Union address to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way.

Regulation establishing the ELA

The Regulation defines the objectives, tasks and organizational structure of the Authority.

Role of the ELA

The ELA fosters agile and efficient work, conducive to reaching solutions to the challenges faced in the areas covered by the Regulation. The Authority:

  • contributes to ensuring that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way
  • makes it easier for citizens and businesses to reap the benefits of the internal market
  • assists national authorities in cooperating for the effective enforcement of the rules.

The Authority was established on 31 July and the activities started in mid-October 2019 with the first meeting of the ELA Management Board. The ELA is expected to reach its full operational capacity by 2024.

This initiative is part of the rollout of the European Pillar of Social Rights.