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European Parliament’s Hearing on the “Laval case”: Rainer Plassmann asks for a brainstorming on the situation


29 Feb 2008


Social Europe & Jobs

At the exchange of views yesterday between MEPs and European Social Partners namely the employers’ organisations BusinessEurope/ UEAPME, CEEP and the ETUC, Rainer Plassmann, Secretary General of CEEP, appealed for a brainstorming on the consequences of the “Laval case”*:

“Public and especially local authorities are in the very core of the problem because, as contracting entities in public procurement they have to tender out works and services and to accept the best, and that means normally the cheapest bid. Social criteria can be applied only in a very restricted way.”

Rainer Plassmann drew possible lessons from this situation:
«- We should screen the public procurement law with respect to situations where social partners and their autonomy could be affected.
- We must do everything in order to keep existing and functioning social models in Europe, like in Sweden.
- We do not need European harmonisation but further on national reforms taking into account also “Laval case situations”.
- European politicians and ministers of labour should start some brainstorming on how to deal with different working and living conditions within the EU.
- European social Partners should begin to exchange national good practices on how “Laval situations” could be avoided or mitigated.”

Note to the editor
CEEP is an employers’ organisation gathering providers of Services of General Interest. It represents 25% of the European employment and is one of the three social partners in the European Social Dialogue.
* Circumstances in the case: Swedish unions took action against a Latvian construction company
Laval over the working conditions of Latvian workers renovating a school in the town of Vaxholm. Laval refused to sign a collective agreement, and a blockade of the work place was initiated by the trade unions as a consequence.
The Swedish Labour Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whose ruling C-
341/05 of 18 December 2007can be found on


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