After-work Panel Debate


Wednesday 14.11.18


Thon Hotel EU, Brussels
Wetstraat 75
1040 Brussels

The College of Europe Development Office, in cooperation with the Swiss Mission to the EU, is organizing an after-work panel debate on "Protecting posted workers – A contribution to free movement of persons in Europe?". It will take place at the Thon Hotel EU in Brussels on 14 November 2018 at 17:00, and will be followed by a networking cocktail. 

In recent years the free movement of workers, one of the fundamental principles of the European Union, has become an increasingly polarized topic in the public opinion. In the run-up to the Brexit-referendum, Brexit campaigners claimed the large number of EU workers in Britain were responsible for the downward pressure on British wages. These concerns have been shared in other EU Member States and have recently prompted the Juncker Commission to revise the Posted Workers Directive in order to protect European workers from social dumping.

In a similar vein, Switzerland has a long experience in this field since its bilateral agreement with the EU on the free movement of persons entered into force in 2002 (AFMP). Switzerland introduced in 2004 flanking measures in order to protect the working conditions that apply to the specific situation of Switzerland, in conformity with the AFMP. New measures are being discussed on a regular basis.

However, the question remains whether these measures achieve their projected goal of protecting workers or are they merely impeding business?

Should you like to participate, please register below before 14 November 2018, 12:00. 


Registration & Welcome

16:30   Registration

17:00   Welcome and introduction

Mr Olivier COSTA, Director of Studies, European Political and Governance Studies Department and European Public Policy Analysis, College of Europe (Bruges campus);

Mr Stephan LAUPER, Second Deputy Head of the Mission of Switzerland to the EU;

17:10   Keynote Speech

Mr Boris ZÜRCHER, Head of the Labour Directorate at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO);

Panel debate

17:25   Presentation

Mr Jesús BALLESTEROS, Director, College of Europe Development Office and Moderator of the debate;

17:30   Is Central and Eastern Europe hollowing out? Effects of free movement from a Hungarian perspective

Ms Kata TÜTTŐ, Member of the Budapest City Council and Member of the Committee of the Regions;

17:40   The European Labour Authority and Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

Mr Federico PANCALDI, Policy Officer, DG Employment - European Commission;

17:50   Revision of the EU’s Posting of Workers Directive and the effects on business

Ms Liina CARR, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC);

18:00   Debate

19:00   Cocktail

20:30   End of the event

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