Between 6 January and 8 February 2021, the European Commission started a public consultation in order to receive information from citizens, businesses, social partners, government bodies and other interested parties on the subject whether EU competition rules stand in the way of collective bargaining by certain solo self-employed people.
Given to the fact that collective bargaining can be a powerful tool to get better working conditions both in the digital economy and beyond, it is important for the EU Commission to understand if the provisions of EU competition laws hinder self-employed persons to opt for collective bargaining agreements.
According to EU competition law, self-employed are considered as “undertakings”, therefore, they risk infringing EU competition rules when they bargain collectively. Although it is not for competition policy to address the social challenges faced by self-employed people, the initiative could ensure that EU competition rules do not prevent self-employed in a weak position from engaging in collective negotiations or agreements to improve their working conditions.
The public consultation of the Commission therefore aims at gathering further information about the current situation of solo self-employed and identifying the added value of EU action in this area. Based on the outcome of the feedbacks of the participants, the EU Commission plans to adopt an initiative by the end of 2021.