PositionMembers of the European Parliament

Members of the European Parliament's Employment Committee debated, on 26 February, with experts and representatives of trade unions and employers' associations the EU Court of Justice's rulings on the Laval and Viking cases. In December 2007, the Court ruled that certain collective actions, which were undertaken by a Swedish and a Finnish trade union, meant a restriction to the freedom of establishment.

"The definition of proportionality is a huge question," said Dr Jonas Malmberg of Uppsala University (Sweden), referring to the Court's ruling that collective actions needed to be proportionate. Asked by Anne E. Jensen (ALDE, Denmark) about the lessons that can be drawn from the application of the Posting of Workers Directive in the Nordic countries, Dr Malmberg explained that "Laval does not generally prevent trade union action against foreign service providers but limits the demands trade unions can put forward". The Employment Committee's Chair, Jan Andersson (PES, Sweden), was worried that the minimum conditions set out in the Posting of Workers Directive might become maximum conditions.

"In the Laval case, by accident or by design, the Court has challenged the European Parliament's position on the Services Directive," said John Monks of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), explaining that in that directive fundamental social rights and the free movement of services were put on equal footing. The Court's judgement in the two cases, however, would provide "a license for social dumping," he concluded.

Elisabeth Schroedter (Greens, Germany) wondered why the principle of the Posting of Workers Directive -...

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