EU splintering as Brussels starts infringement proceedings against Austria

Brexit agreement has 'real teeth' says Ursula von der Leyen

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According to the EU Commission, the Directive for Posted Workers is not properly implemented. The Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against Austria and 23 other member states.

The Commission claimed these member states failed to bring various national provisions in line with the directive.

The member states now have two months to take necessary measures, otherwise they will be sent another letter.

The communication does not reveal what Austria is being accused but that it has failed to implement the directive.

The Commission said the directive on the enforcement of the Posting of Workers Directive aims to “strengthen the practical application of the rules on the posting of workers by addressing issues related to the fight against fraud and circumvention of regulations, access to information and administrative cooperation between EU member states”.

In the bloc’s second infringement procedure against Austria, the EU were more specific.

Austria has failed to implement the directive on the right of access to legal counsel.

In addition to Austria, five other member states were accused of having ~certain gaps” in legal assistance with regard to children.

The six EU states now have two months to clarify the situation otherwise they will be warned again.

The Posted Workers Directive is an EU directive concerned with the free movement of workers within the European Union

The EU has issued several legal proceedings over recent months, including the UK over the failure to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the European left – led by the German left – was attacking his country because of its “refusal to sign a politically inconsequential and frivolous joint declaration on Hong Kong”.

Mr Orban said: “There must be an end to the preoccupation in Brussels with concocting and flaunting declarations.

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“In recent years this common foreign policy approach, motivated by domestic political considerations, has led to the European Union’s foreign policy stance becoming a laughing stock.

“As far as Europe’s policy on China is concerned, we believe that we must prevent the re-emergence of Cold War policies and culture in world politics.”

In May, Budapest refused to ratify a new EU trade and development accord with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

It also declined to support an EU call for a ceasefire in violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

This month, Ireland Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the EU would be forced to take legal action if the UK failed to work in partnership with the bloc.

He told RTE News: “We’ve got to find ways in which we can reduce the impact of the protocol together.

“That means working out compromise positions within the parameters of the protocol to make it less impactful in terms of trade between GB and Northern Ireland – and there are ways to do that.

“But the danger is that if either side acts unilaterally.

“The British government has already acted unilaterally on a number of issues to essentially set aside elements of the protocol, because they don’t like how they’re being required to implement them.

“If that continues, then the protocol is going to become a more contentious issue, not a less contentious issue, because the EU will be forced into legal action and responding to a party and a partner that is no longer committed to what it signed up to.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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