Stanowiska polskich partnerów społecznych w negocjacjach dotyczących swobodnego przepływu pracowników
The Position of Polish Social Partners in the Negotiations Concerning the Free Movement of Labour
Przedstawiono stanowiska związków zawodowych i stanowiska organizacji pracodawców dotyczące wejścia Polski do Unii Europejskiej a w szczególności problematyki związanej ze swobodnym przepływem pracowników.
The topic of the free movement of labour drew particular controversy during Poland's negotiations for membership in the EU. An important part in the debate, both in Poland and the EU, was played by Polish social partners, i.e. employers' organisations and the labour unions. All Polish organisations rejected as groundless the fears, voiced by Germany and Austria, of a resulting massive influx of workers from Poland to the EU. The position put forward by them, although quite general, presented arguments for the need to provide Polish citizens with the freedom of movement, which their counterparts in the EU enjoy, as soon as Poland accesses the EU. The organisations, moreover, showed great awareness of reality by recognising the need for transitional arrangements in this respect. The debate, however, was not free of political hassle. While the "Solidarity" trade union fully supported the policy of the government in power in matters of Poland's accession to the EU, the OPZZ trade unions, although supporting the government on the question of free movement of labour, criticised the government for by-passing their union when implementing their information policy. By analysing the influence of the Polish social partners' lobby, at home as well as abroad, the author concludes that it has contributed greatly to the success of the negotiations on the chapter of the free movement of labour. The accepted solution proved flexible enough for it to be approved, practically without protest, by both the Member States and the applicant countries. (original abstract)