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EESC calls for a common approach on shadow economy and undeclared work

On the 21st of January 2014, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an own-initiative opinion entitled “A strategy against the shadow economy and undeclared work”.

The report states that “bringing companies and workers out of the shadow economy could therefore be a factor in economic recovery and could lay the foundations for more lasting development”. It stresses that the process of economic globalisation and socio-demographic change provides potentially fertile ground for this phenomenon and in this regard the increased demand for domestic help and care services is mentioned. The EESC recommends :

  • quantitative and qualitative assessments should be conducted as the situation differs enormously from one Member State to another. In this regard the EESC recommends a method based on workforce surveys developed by the Italian National Institute of Statistics,
  • the launch of a policy mix, enabling a differentiation for various regional, productive sector and employment types, so as to address the specific factors that fuel the phenomenon be they economic, cultural or social,
  • take measures to ensure that operating in the shadow economy ceases to be more convenient including deterrents measures, controls and penalties, and incentives to abide by the rules,
  • the establishment of local observatories to monitor the shadow economy, involving representatives of employers, unions and the relevant public authorities.

The European Commission should adopt in the first quarter of 2014 a proposal of the establishment of a European platform to fight undeclared work.