Monday, 24 October 2016

PM warns of unilateral labour market protection at V4 talks

17 February 2016

Kamenice, Central Bohemia, Feb 16 (CTK) - Social dumping should not be fought by individual EU countries unilaterally protecting their labour markets, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said at a joint meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) tripartites on Tuesday.

The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The tripartite is formed by representatives of the government, employers and trade unions.

Sobotka said the free movement of the workforce is a condition of the EU preserving its competitiveness.

"The fight against social dumping should not be identified with a one-way protection of individual national labour markets," Sobotka said.

He said the existing problems should not be tackled by a change to the European directive on sending labour to other countries, but by a better observance of the valid rules.

The meeting also discussed a package in support of workforce mobility and free movement of people.

The theme has been in the limelight in connection with Britain's demands for an EU reform, including certain restrictions.

The Czech Republic refuses any caps on the free movement rules.

The V4 representatives will also debate the construction of transport infrastructure and a better coordination of cross-border transport projects and energy.

The Czech Republic has presided the V4 for one year since last July. This has been the first joint tripartite meeting since the V4 was established 25 years ago.

Sobotka said if the discussion was "interesting and constructive," this kind of meetings could be held every year.

The next one would be staged by Poland that will take over the V4 presidency from the Czech Republic.

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