The eu Seasonal Workers Directive: When Immigration Controls Meet Labour Rights

in European Journal of Migration and Law
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The Seasonal Workers Directive combines immigration law, which regulates entry and stay in a territory, with labour law, which governs the rights of workers. The different interests and expertise of the various eu institutions involved in the Directive’s drafting and adoption exacerbated the tension between these two legal fields. In turn, this tension compromised the achievement of several of the eu’s explicit objectives, namely, creating a level playing field for the recruitment of seasonal migrant workers across the Member States, instituting a circular migration program, and protecting migrant workers from economic and social exploitation. This article focuses on the extent to which the Directive has the capacity to protect seasonal migrant workers. To do so, it sketches the history of the Directive and discusses some consequences of its treaty basis, which provides the context for our analysis and evaluation of the substantive provisions of the Directive.

The eu Seasonal Workers Directive: When Immigration Controls Meet Labour Rights

in European Journal of Migration and Law




E. Guild (2004) ‘Mechanisms of Exclusion: Labour Migration in the European Union’ in: J. Apap (ed.) Justice and Home Affairs in the eu – Liberty and Security Issues after Enlargement Cheltenham: Edward Elgar pp. 211–224 at p. 212.


A. Faure Atger (2010) ‘Competing Interests in the Europeanization of Labour Migration Rules’ in: E. Guild and S. Mantu (eds) Constructing and Imagining labour migration: perspectives of control from five continents Farnham: Ashgate pp. 157–174 at p. 162.


Ibid. 4–5. The sectors are highly skilled immigrants seasonal workers and intra-corporate transfers. Also a Framework directive including a single application procedure and a set of rights for labour migrants was proposed. These proposals have led to adopted directives (fn 45 and 89).


Ibid. 7 with reference to com(2005)390 on Migration and Development: Some concrete orientations.


Ibid. 10.


Ibid. 13.


It is also worth mentioning that in 2008the European Council adopted the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum and in 2009 reiterated the Commission and Council’s commitment to implementing the Policy Plan on Legal Migration in The Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens oj C 115 of 4 May 2010.


Ibid. 2–3.


Ibid. 12.


Peers et al. (2012) (fn 31) at p. 181.


Council Doc. 15033/13 25 October 2013amendment 12 p. 11.


Council Doc. 6312/13 12 February 2013amendment 40.


Council Doc. 5611/12 23 January 2012proposed article 2.2. a and b.


Council Doc. 5611/12 23 January 2012proposed Article 2(b).


Council Doc. 10164/11 17 May 20113.


Council Doc. 6651/12 27 February 2013at p. 80.


Ibid. 68.


Ibid. 111.


Ibid. 110amendment 94.


Ibid. 116–117 and amendment 97.


Ibid. 3.


Ibid. 4.


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