Latvia makes pitch to host European Labour Authority

Latvia has officially announced it wants to host a key new EU institution, the European Labour Authority (ELA).

The creation of the ELA was announced in September 2017 by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2017 State of the European Union address to ensure that EU rules on labor mobility be enforced in a fair, simple and effective way.

Following consultations and an impact assessment, a legislative proposal was presented on 13 March 2018. The European Commission, the Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal in February 2019 and have expressed hopes that it "should be up and running in 2019 and reach its full operational capacity by 2023."

Now a booklet has been produced trumpeting Latvia's claim to host the ELA, with one of its main attractions being a "wide choice of hotels"and residential housing at affordable prices" and "Newly built and recently renovated premises in great locations offered to choose for the ELA with the possibility to modify the final design of the premises".

The booklet is quite specific that the ELA would be located in Rīga, with no other cities in Latvia given consideration.

The booklet also mentions says: "By the 2030 [sic] the Rail Baltica project could be completed ensuring the integration of the Baltic States in the European rail network," despite the fact that the current target date for completion of Rail Baltica is officially given as 2026.

There are even several suggested addresses for the agency to use as its headquarters, including Pils laukums 2 (directly opposite Rīga Castle), the Elemental office block in the Skanste district and Business Garden Rīga on K.Ulmaņa iela between the city center and the airport. 

According to the European Commission, the Authority's estimated annual budget will be around €50 million. It will have approximately 140 members of staff.

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