The European Parliament backed new rules governing how companies can move between EU member states on January 17.

“We are pleased that the Parliament has overwhelmingly backed our position, but are disappointed by the attempt of right-wing groups to block these proposals. These new rules will create a clear procedure to follow for genuine businesses to set up offices in other member states, while cracking down on companies doing it for artificial reasons such as evading tax, social contributions or avoiding national labour laws. We have been pressuring the European Commission to crack down on this type of abusive behaviour for years and finally they presented draft proposals to do this earlier this year,” said S&D MEP and author of the report Evelyn Regner.

“The European Parliament has greatly strengthened the proposals to ensure that workers are fully informed and consulted throughout the process whenever a company wants to move offices to another member state. If a company is attempting to merge or relocate then workers must be fully involved and have their participation rights protected. Company mobility should be about genuine economic activity, not just searching for the laxest labour protections or lowest tax rates. We can’t allow a race to the bottom, with member states competing to offer the lowest standards possible. Authorities need to be able to check, if a company is relocating for genuine reasons or simply creating an artificial arrangement to avoid their obligations and responsibilities. If they are engaged in an artificial arrangement then the company should not receive the necessary certificate it needs to finalise the cross-border operation,” she added.