EPSU and ETUFs sign joint letter opposing EU talent pool proposal

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(28 May 2024) EPSU, ETUC and six other ETUFs signed a joint letter urging the Belgian Presidency and the Council to reconsider the European Commission's EU Talent Pool proposal.

The letter emphasises support for migrant workers' access to the EU labour market – only under the provision that labour, trade union, and social rights are fully respected. The current talent pool proposal fails to protect migrant workers from exploitation and poor working conditions, especially in sectors like construction, agriculture, hospitality, and transport, which are known for labour abuses.

Key concerns highlighted include the proposal's lack of safeguards against unscrupulous recruitment practices and its potential to worsen subcontracting chains, making it harder to detect and address labour rights violations. The solution to labour shortages lies in improving pay and working conditions for all workers, including migrants.

A thorough evaluation of existing labour migration laws is needed, as well as better protection for migrant workers and a common framework for migrant workers' rights. The Talent Pool proposal, as it stands, will not solve current issues and may even exacerbate exploitation.

Read the letter here.