European Commission - Statement
Commissioner Thyssen welcomes Council's agreement on proposals to better protect seafarers and inland waterway workers
Brussels, 11 December 2014
"I welcome the agreements reached today by the EU's Council of Employment and Social Policy Ministers on two important Commission's proposals, aiming respectively at improving the protection of seafarers and of workers in inland waterway transports.
Ministers have reached an informal agreement on the proposal to give seafarers the same rights as onshore workers, in particular with regards to the fundamental right of information and consultation. This will not only improve their living and working conditions, it will also level the playing field in Europe's maritime sector. All shipping and fisheries companies in the EU Member States would have the same obligations.
An informal agreement has also been reached on the proposal to establish common minimum rules on working time to protect the health and safety of crews and shipboard personnel in the commercial inland waterway transport sector. This proposal implements the agreement reached by representatives of employers and employees in this sector at EU level. This is the first proposal implementing an EU social partner agreement since 2010 and an excellent example of the Commission's commitment to social dialogue. The proposal is an important contribution to the inland waterway sector which faces huge challenges ahead to secure a larger market share in a fully integrated transport chain.
The Commission will continue to work with the Council and the European Parliament to achieve and adoption as soon as possible."