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Conflict over labour reforms a symptom of deeper European divide


Conflict over labour reforms a symptom of deeper European divide

Photo: Kresy

French President Emmanuel Macron will sit down with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo to discuss the EU’s posted worker reforms, which aim to tighten rules around low-wage labour entering higher-wage jurisdictions.

A hot topic issue, posted workers have generated concern among working-class French—a sentiment captured by Marine Le Pen earlier this year. Macron is determined to address the practice of using low-cost workers from elsewhere in the Union to undercut the French labour market in a bid to demonstrate that the EU can work for everyone, particularly those who don’t support his pro-European platform.

Mr Macron has his work cut out for him. Today’s discussions come amid significant tensions between the EU and Poland. Over the weekend, European Council President and former Polish PM Donald Tusk tweeted that Warsaw’s policies were akin to a “Kremlin plan”.

This heated exchange is a symptom of deep divides. Poland and Hungary are at the vanguard of a group of states that are increasingly Eurosceptic. If the victor of Czech elections, Andrej Babis, is able to form government, Prague may follow them.

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Posted or not, it seems there’s no end in sight for a divided Europe.

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