EFFAT proposes proportionate and effective sanctioning system to leverage social conditionality’s full potential
In 2023 Austria, France and Italy will voluntarily introduce Social Conditionality into the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) which, as of 2025, will be mandatory for all EU-27.
Social conditionality is a great achievement for working people in agriculture, but it risks lacking pragmatism and effectiveness if not accompanied by effective, dissuasive and proportionate sanctions, as clearly required by the new EU rules.
The new CAP obliges member states to impose administrative sanctions by means of reduction or exclusion of the total amount of the payments to those employers not respecting a given set of EU labour standards. For the calculation of those sanctions, account shall be taken of severity, extent, permanence or reoccurrence and intentionality of the non-compliance.
Despite the clarity of the EU rules, some national governments are proposing very low levels of sanctions, which EFFAT deems simply unacceptable.
Social Conditionality can help in raising labour standards in one of the most precarious sectors of the economy. Proposing ridiculous sanction levels can seriously jeopardise its great potential.
Under this light, at the last Executive Committee meeting, EFFAT adopted a position on sanctions in line with the new EU rules. This set of provisions defines our balanced proposal on how identified infringements should be sanctioned.
While sanctions must be decided at national level, EFFAT calls on the European Commission to engage with European social partners and member states to develop a coordinated sanctioning system across Europe and reach a wider harmonisation.
Conditions of agri-workers remain dire and precarious in many member states. If accompanied by a set of functioning sanctions, Social Conditionality in the new CAP can be a real game-changer.
EFFAT calls on national governments to engage with its affiliates in the definition of CAP sanctioning systems as also required by the EU rules.