Ladies and gentlemen,

You have a happy Commissioner in front of you.

I welcome this landmark agreement achieved today by the Commission, the Parliament and the Council on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive.

I presented this proposal almost two years ago, in March 2016.

At the heart of our proposal is the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place. We have now confirmed this principle in legislation. This directly responds to the concerns of many citizens that outdated legislation leads to unfair competition in the Internal Market.

The agreement opens a new phase for fair regulation of the Internal Market. Our single market works for goods and services and it should also work for people.

I believe that the package agreement that we have just concluded is balanced and respects the main concerns expressed by each of the three institutions.

The agreement maintains the main elements of the Commission’s proposal. And at the same time it improves the framework to fight fraud and abuses and establishes more comprehensive and clearer rules for workers, for employers and for public authorities.

I want to wholeheartedly thank the co-legislators, in particular the two co-rapporteurs of the European Parliament, Elisabeth Morin Chartier and Agnes Jongerius, as well as Minister Zornitsa Roussinova for forging a balanced compromise which can be broadly accepted across Europe.

In the coming days or weeks we will present the results of our negotiations in our institutions. We hope to get the mandates from our institutions to secure the agreement in the coming weeks.

I believe that with our revised directive we will support fairer and better functioning labour markets in Europe, which is a key principle of the European Pillar Social Rights that we proclaimed at the Social Summit a few months ago. This is good news for Social Europe today.

Allow me to be proud of the remarkable result.

As you know it was a difficult file:

  • With many sensitivities
  • Different emotions
  • A yellow card

But today's result shows that by intensively talking and listening to each other, you can find a fair agreement on the condition that you do not lose your focus.

Our focus was and remains fairness for both workers and employers.

Thank you.