About 17 million European citizens currently live or work in another EU Member State – twice as many as a decade ago. The EU has developed a substantial body of legislation, however, effectively enforcing EU rules across the Member States requires structured cooperation and exchange between competent national authorities, as well as resources for common activities, such as organising joint inspections or training national staff to deal with cross-border cases. The EU believes that this requires an European approach to fraud and exploitation.
The EU member states remain responsible and are not required to participate in the activities of the ELA. However, national labour inspectorates must start functioning at European level. The ELA monitors compliance European labour laws at a national and European level and will support EU Member States in informing citizens and employees about the rights and obligations of cross-border work. The right to national or cross-border inspections continues to apply at a national level. However, the ELA can make a proposal for a joint inspection when a suspected fraud or abuse case is suspected.
The ELA office will be located in the Slovak capital Bratislava. The Authority was established 31 July 2019 and the activities have started mid-October with the first meeting of the ELA Management Board. The ELA is expected to reach its full operational capacity by 2024.