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European Labour Authority

The European Labour Authority was announced in September 2017 by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the European Union address to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility be enforced in a fair, simple and effective way. Following consultations and an impact assessment, a legislative proposal was presented on 13 March 2018.

The Authority should be up and running in 2019 and reach its full operational capacity by 2023. This proposal is also part of the roll-out of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Role of the ELA

  • Facilitate access for individuals and employers to information on their rights and obligations as well as to relevant services.
  • Support cooperation between EU countries in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections.
  • Mediate and facilitate a solution in cases of cross-border disputes between national authorities or labour market disruptions.

Structure and funding

  • The European Labour Authority will be a permanent structure, made up of approximately 140 staff members, some of them seconded from EU countries  and acting as National Liaison Officers.
  • It will be steered by a Management Board, with representatives from each EU country and the European Commission.
  • A dedicated Stakeholder Group including EU social partners will provide further expertise and have an advisory role.
  • It will have an annual budget of approximately EUR 50 million.


The ELA will

  • provide national authorities with operational and technical support to exchange information, develop day-to-day cooperation routines, carry out inspections and, if necessary, settle disputes.
  • Ensure synergies with existing EU agencies by relying on their expertise in terms of skills forecasting, health and safety at work, the management of company restructuring and tackling undeclared work.
  • Integrate a number of existing committees and networks, thereby simplifying cooperation amongst EU countries and eliminating fragmentation.