Economic freedoms and labour standards in the European Union

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Jan Cremers has contributed with a main article in Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research (Vol. 22-2). It was published by Sage ahead of print. His article examines the problematic relationship between economic freedoms and labour standards in the context of cross-border labour recruitment. It starts with a summary of the relevant EU acquis, in particular rules concerning social security coordination and the pay and working conditions of posted workers. It reviews key issues of the ‘hard core’ of the internal market legislation (free choice of contracts, freedom of establishment for firms, deregulation of the ‘business environment’ and free provision of services). It also identifies experiences of rule-enforcing institutions: regime shopping, non-compliance with social standards, lack of cross-border enforcement, the difficulty of tracing circumvention in a transnational context and weak sanctioning mechanisms. The possibility of verifying, legally and in practice, whether a worker is correctly posted within the framework of the provision of services has become an Achilles heel of the enforcement of the use of cross-border recruited labour. The author finally assesses whether the 2014 Enforcement Directive can be seen as an effective remedy for the identified problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberMain article
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalTransfer: European Review of Labour and Research
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2016


  • free movement, recruitment, compliance, regime-shopping, posting, social security

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