Romanian president says European Union workers directive needs improvement

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday won the support of two eastern European states in his campaign against EU rules on the employment overseas of workers from low-pay countries, calling the current system a "betrayal" of European values.

Macron embarked Wednesday on a three-day diplomatic blitz through Austria, Romania and Bulgaria to drum up support for his ambitious plan to reform the directive at a summit in October.

"The single European market and the free movement of workers is not meant to create a race to the bottom in terms of social regulations", Macron told reporters after meeting Kern in the city of Salzburg. "Austria and France are on the same wavelength".

France has long pressed for reform of the EU's Posted Workers Directive, which allows firms to send their cheaper workers to another European Union nation and keep them on existing employment terms, not those of the host country.

The directive was launched in 1996 to help stimulate cross-border business activity, however critics argue that the bloc's eastward expansion in 2004 has opened the system to abuse.

French President Emmanuel Macron got lukewarm support from Romania on Thursday for his push to tighten European Union rules over the employment overseas of workers from low-pay countries, but enough for him to express confidence of a deal by year-end.

Emmanuel Macron will ask for better norms for French workers in the face of unfair labor competition in Eastern Europe during a visit to the region from August 23 to 25, said a French official last week, quoted by Reuters.

Macron The EU is a'real step closer to overhauling controversial cheap labour rule

Austria has seen the number of posted workers rise from around 106,000 in 2014 to 166,490 in 2016 in a workforce of four million, according to the Vienna-based research institute L&R Sozialforschung.

France also demands greater efforts to fight fraudulent use of the directive, under which 286,000 people were employed in the country in 2015.

Backed by Vienna and Berlin, Paris wants the job duration of detached employees to be limited to 12 months - half the period proposed by the EU's executive Commission.

However, the Czech Republic and Slovakia want the field of road transport exempted from the EU's future directive.

In a statement made by the side of Austrian Chancellor, Christian Kern, he stressed that both countries had a "perfect alignment" of views in this case. She then arrived in Bucharest, Romania today in a navy minidress and matching jacket to meet with President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen.

Poland is the country that benefits most from the Posted Workers Directive.

Eastern and central European governments say Macron's proposals go too far and will undercut their competitiveness.

More news: Chalobah and Maguire named in England squad to face Malta and Slovakia

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