A mechanism could be put in place at European level to boost national actions against undeclared work. According to the European Commission's 2007 communication - COM(2007)628 - "undeclared work" is defined as "any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public authorities, taking into account differences in the regulatory system of member states". In this context, the Commission launched, on 4 July, a consultation of the social partners on strengthening cooperation between EU member states to prevent and discuss undeclared work(1).

Trade union and company representatives are invited to give their views about various measures to be taken by work inspectorate services and tax and social security authorities: sharing of best practices on prevention and deterrence measures, identifying common principles for inspections of employers, promoting staff exchanges and joint training and facilitating joint control actions.

The consultation document sets out the goals and possible content in a future EU initiative to tackle the problem of undeclared work. Such an initiative is due to be adopted in the second half of 2013.

That said, for the Commission it is about putting into practice objectives taken up in the employment package of April 2012. It underlined there that the transformation of informal or undeclared work into regular employment could help reduce unemployment and so cooperation needed to be improved in this area between member states. The text called for the...

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