11/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/11/2021 02:40
"It is more than symbolic that this European institution, that has the free movement to work throughout European Union (EU) countries in its DNA, will have its new headquarters in Slovakia, in the heart of Europe, and even in the midst of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I see the opening of the European Labour Authority in Slovakia as an important step for the EU, which is reaching out to our citizens in a way that is very concrete and tangible. The mobility of labour is one of the priorities of the Union´s internal market and Bratislava has thus become a firm part of the European institution network from now on while at the same time also further strengthening how our country is perceived by foreign partners."
This was stated by the State Secretary of the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Martin Klus in Bratislava on Tuesday (9 November 2021), during the opening of the European Labour Authoirty (ELA), which also included an official ceremony and a conference on labour mobility.
In Klus´ view, the opening of the European Labour Authority in Bratislava, as the first ever European institution in Slovakia, is a milestone in our existing membership in the Union, which will contribute not only to higher visibility of our country, but it will also increase awareness about the EU among the citizens in Slovakia. As a result of the new ELA headquarters, around 150 qualified workers with families, who can significantly contribute to the use, extension and increase of the quality of services in Bratislava, will find a new "home" in Slovakia´s metropolis.
"In Slovakia we have long considered the free movement of the labour force to be one of the pillars of the internal market of the EU. This is also the reason why we made efforts to acquire the ELA office, as our neighbors have already long been the home to the headquarters of other European agencies," recalled the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs State Secretary Klus.
He also added that in the end it will always be citizens and companies that will profit from fair and well-functioning labour mobility, which will now be watched over by the ELA in Bratislava. In his official address, the State Secretary of Slovakia´s diplomacy ministry also mentioned the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"On one side, the corona crisis has brought about many limitations to movement within the internal market and revealed the fragility of labour mobility, but it has also shown us the necessity of the existence of the possibility to carry out work in another member state. In the case of health care personnel we can even say it's a matter of life and death," emphasized Klus.
The priorities of the European Labour Authority (ELA) also include the strengthening of cooperation between member states with regards to labour mobility within the EU's internal market, solving cross-border disputes between states via mediation, and supporting EU member states to provide information to workers and employers about the conditions of work in the EU.