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Undeclared work — cooperation between EU countries

Undeclared work — cooperation between EU countries



Decision (EU) 2016/344 establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work


  • It establishes a platform or forum at EU level where representatives from all EU countries meet to:
    • exchange information and best practices;
    • develop knowledge and capacity; and
    • engage in closer cross-border cooperation in order to fight undeclared work* more effectively and efficiently.


  • The platform aims to:
    • reduce undeclared work;
    • improve working conditions;
    • promote labour market integration and social inclusion;
    • improve law enforcement in labour market integration and social inclusion;
    • encourage the development of formal jobs;
    • contribute to structural reforms in the area of undeclared work.
  • The platform supports cooperation between EU countries through:
    • exchange of best practice and information;
    • developing expertise and analysis;
    • encouraging innovative ways of effective and efficient cross-border cooperation;
    • promoting wider understanding of the issues raised by undeclared work.
  • The platform’s activities include:
    • developing shared definitions, common concepts, comparative analysis, data collection and use of peer reviews;
    • analysing different policies, preventive measures and penalties;
    • establishing a knowledge bank to share information and experience;
    • producing enforcement guidelines, good practice handbooks and shared inspection principles;
    • encouraging exchange of national officials and joint activities;
    • examining the feasibility of a rapid information exchange system and improved data-sharing;
    • developing training capacity;
    • increasing awareness of the problems of undeclared work through European campaigns and coordinated regional and EU-wide strategies.
  • The platform cooperates closely with other EU expert groups and committees involved in tackling undeclared work.
  • The platform includes representatives from each EU country, from the European Commission and from both the employers’ and employees’ sides of industry.
  • Representatives of social partners, particularly in sectors with a high incidence of undeclared work, relevant EU and international bodies, such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, and non-EU countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) may attend as observers.
  • The platform meets at least twice a year and is chaired by the Commission.
  • Participating in the platform does not affect EU countries’ other national and international efforts to tackle undeclared work.
  • The Commission will report on the platform’s activities by 13 March 2020. It may make recommendations to change the scope of its activities.


It has applied since 12 March 2016.


  • Undeclared work is particularly common in sectors such as construction, repairs, gardening, cleaning, childcare, catering and hotels.
  • It damages the EU’s economy, leads to unfair competition and undermines workers’ social and employment protection.
  • National authorities have the main responsibility for tackling undeclared work: either by deterrence (stricter sanctions, more effective inspections) or by prevention (tax incentives or amnesties).


Undeclared work: any paid activities that are lawful in nature, but not declared to public authorities


Decision (EU) 2016/344 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work (OJ L 65, 11.3.2016, pp. 12–20)

last update 12.12.2016