The free movement of services is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the European Union (EU). This freedom of labor and service mobility poses challenges for member states in many ways because social security systems continue to be regulated and administered at the national level. Freedoms that are legally granted at the supranational level must thus be applied and enforced at the national level. This also implies that administrations that have developed in a nation-state context must cooperate across borders with authorities in other member states to enforce EU law.
The posting of workers is an illustrative example of the conflicts inherent in this enforcement process. Posted workers are employed in one EU state, where they pay into the social security system, but are then sent to another EU state to provide services. The legal framework (e.g. minimum wage, labor protection) is set by the 1996 Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC), which was reformed in 2018.
In order to protect the freedom of firms to provide services and to ensure adequate working conditions for posted workers*, the competent national authorities have to cooperate. This dissertation project examines the cross-border dimension in the enforcement of EU law using the Posted Workers Directive as an example. It not only examines state administrations as actors in the enforcement process, but also includes civil society actors, such as trade union consultation projects, in order to understand more precisely their role as a linking element between mobile workers and the administration.
Project related publications
Blauberger, Michael/Heindlmaier, Anita/Hofmarcher, Paul/Assmus, Josephine/Mitter, Birgit, 2021: The differentiated politicization of free movement of people in the EU. A topic model analysis of press coverage in Austria, Germany, Poland and the UK. In: Journal of European Public Policy, doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2021.1986118.