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Govʼt contests amendment of EUʼs Posted Workers Directive

The Hungarian government is contesting amendment of the EUʼs Posted Workers Directive, promulgated on July 9, 2018, submitting its action for annulment to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), says a statement on government website kormany.hu, which claims the regulation is a protectionist measure. 

"Ever since the publication of the European Commission’s relevant proposal in March 2016, Hungary has consistently opposed the amendment of Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services, because the extension of the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same workplace to the freedom of the provision of services does not, in actual fact, seek to protect posted workers; it forces them out of the labor markets of other Member States as a means of protectionism," says the statement issued by the Prime Ministerʼs Office.

The Hungarian government says it holds the position that the new regulations upset the balance that was created by earlier regulation, and reduces the entire EUʼs competitiveness. Earlier, Hungary and eleven other member states raised objections to the proposal, with the European Commission deciding to uphold its original proposal despite the objections.

One particular aspect the government finds unacceptable is the extension of posted worker regulations to international road transport activities, with Hungary and Poland arguing in a common declaration that "the regulations adopted cannot in any way be regarded as balanced in light of the fact that the special rules of posting applicable to road transport are still being negotiated as part of a keen debate," the statement says.

The directive was contested by Hungary within the time limit extending to October 3.

In the statement of action, the Hungarian government claims that the contested act violates "the freedom of the provision of services laid down in the Treaties of the EU," adding that it is "contrary to the principles of necessity and proportionality," and that its introduced obligations and restrictions violate the requirement of non-discrimination.

Furthermore, the government claims that the implementation of the directive by July 30, 2020, would pose major challenges as some provisions of the directive "violate the principles of legal security and norm clarity."

"Hungary takes the view that the outcome of the court procedure is crucial as the restriction of any fundamental freedom may lead to the disintegration of the unity of the internal market which constitutes the basis of European integration," the Prime Ministerʼs Office says.

The government also claims that Poland will likewise seek the annulment of the directive.