The European Labour Authority (ELA) has been created to help Member States and the European Commission to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way. ELA also has an important role to play in facilitating and ensuring effective labour mobility in Europe, in particular by activities of European Employment Services (EURES).
To date, about 13.5 million EU citizens live or work in another Member State and mobility within the EU continues to grow. The free movement of workers and services is a pillar of the European Union and seen as one of the main achievements of EU integration. It provides workers and companies with the opportunity to seek work and provide services across the EU.
To ensure that the fundamental freedom of free movement works in practice and brings a fair mobility to individuals and companies, there is a set of legislations on EU labour mobility and it is necessary that the agreed rules are properly enforced. Their effective enforcement in the Member States requires structured cooperation and exchange of information between competent national authorities and executing common activities such as joint labour inspections or the training of national staff on cross-border mobility rules.
To tackle these issues, former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the creation of a European Labour Authority in September 2017, in his State of the European Union address:
“In a Union of equals, there can be no second class workers. Workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place. This is why the Commission proposed new rules on posting of workers. We should make sure that all EU rules on labour mobility are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way by a new European inspection and enforcement body.”
ELA was established on 31 July 2019 and since September 2021 has its permanent seat in Bratislava, Slovakia.