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Slovakia: Bratislava wins bid to host European Labour Authority

Bratislava, Slovakia – On Thursday, Bratislava won its bid to host the European Labour Authority (ELA), an EU agency created to oversee the labour market in the member states.

Bratislava to host European Labour Authority as of this year

The decision to move the agency’s headquarters to Bratislava, voted in a first-round vote at a narrow margin, was announced two days ago by EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen, on the sidelines of a meeting of EU Labour Ministers in Luxembourg.

“I congratulate the city of Bratislava and the government of Slovakia for being chosen to host the seat of the European Labour Authority”, she said. “I am confident that the move of the European Labour Authority will be smooth and fast”.

Other bidding cities to host the European Labour Authority included Sofia, in Bulgaria, Nicosia, in Cyprus and Riga, in Latvia.

The agency will have its headquarters in the centre of Bratislava, on Landererova street. It should start operating in Brussels in October before moving to its final host city.

ELA to be first EU agency based in Slovakia

This will be the first major EU institution based in Slovakia, after the country lost its bid earlier this year to host the European Medicines Agency. Central and Eastern Europe, the EU’s newest member states, have long complained that all the main EU institutions and agencies were concentrated in Western Europe.

Other EU agencies in the Visegrad Group include the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) in Budapest, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) in Prague, and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in Warsaw.

Enforcing fair implementation of EU’s labour mobility rules

In her statement, Marianne Thyssen also outlined the purpose and future goals of the new agency, meant to ensure that EU labour rules and regulations are implemented in a fair way all across the bloc, and fight abuse and social dumping practices. It will also strive to ensure the effective implementation of EU laws in cross-border mobility and aim to strengthen coordination of in the field of social security.

The initiative to create an EU labour agency was first introduced by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker back in 2017, around the same time Western countries (mainly France, backed by Benelux states) clashed with Central and Eastern Europe over the reform of the EU’s labour market – including the controversial overhaul of the posted workers directive.

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