The return of the “Polish plumber”

Published on 2 December 2013 at 12:10


A week before the meeting of Europe’s ministers of labour scheduled for December 9, the French government has asked the European Commission to review the directive that enables companies to post workers in other EU member states, which it claims is responsible for social dumping within the European Union.

Libération reports on an issue that is now a bone of contention for Europe —

… established in 1996, the regulations that enable EU citizens to go to work in other countries have been hijacked: with the original aim of providing a framework for the mobility of labour within the EU, this directive — said to be for ‘posted workers’ — has become, in the context of the economic crisis, a tool for cutting costs that has been abused by certain companies, notably in the construction and agribusiness sectors.

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In its editorial, the daily points out that the situation not only amounts to —

… a further demonstration of the fact that an economic Europe is not viable without a social Europe, but, even worse, that Europe as it is now, has become the greatest danger to the very concept of a political Europe and to many of the nations of which it is composed.

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