EEPOW – Posting of Workers in Eastern Europe




One major characteristic of labour migration within the European Union (EU) is mobility from lower-income countries, often from Southern and Eastern Europe, towards higher-income Member states (MS) in the West and the North of Europe. Therefore, transitional periods for full access to the freedom of movement of workers in the internal European market have been applied for the latest accession countries. As a result, the posting of workers regulated by the Directive on the Posting of Workers (96/71/EC) has been one of the main channels for employment of workers from these countries to the rest of the EU until the lifting of the ban. The migratory trend is expected to continue once the candidate countries from the Western Balkans become full members, in particular when considering their recent history of migration towards EU member states since the fall of the previous political regimes.


The EEPOW Project aims to proactively address the issue of posting of workers at its pre-accession stage by assisting Eastern European countries, especially the four candidate countries Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, and Serbia, in implementing the Directive already before it gets into force, and by assisting in the prevention of social dumping, i.e. the use of cheap labour, to minimise associated risks for workers. The way we do that is:

1. by assessing the institutional needs of the candidate countries to prepare for the directive and prevent social dumping;
2. by implementing mutual-learning activities (peer reviews) in the EU-MS together with the candidate countries to enable for learning from best practices; and
3. by working in partnership with policy-makers, civil servants, state agencies, and the social partners.


The project contributes to European Cohesion and Solidarity within the EU and between the EU and the candidate countries in the Western Balkans, helps to further consolidate national strategies, and reinforces transnational coordination between relevant stakeholders of the broader EU region. The specific objectives include improving transnational multi-stakeholder cooperation, increasing access to information, strengthening the evidence base through empirical research, and building institutional capacities.