The House of Lords European Union Committee reported on 13 October 2010 that plans from the European Commission to introduce EU wide conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment should instead be left to individual Member States to legislate.
The Lords EU Sub Committee for Home Affairs considered the Commission proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment and concluded that it does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity (that legislation be made at the lowest appropriate level). The Committee recommended that under the Lisbon Treaty Protocol on Subsidiarity the House of Lords should submit a reasoned opinion to the European institutions setting out why it regards the draft as inconsistent with the principle of subsidiarity.
The Committee believed that the entry to and residence in each Member State by third-country nationals as seasonal workers can and should be governed by the policy of individual Member States towards admission of such workers.
The Committee’s view is that whilst the requirement for seasonal workers is a common occurrence in most Member States, it must be recognised that the needs of Member States differ widely. Market forces such as the number of workers needed and the time of year they are needed vary between Member States, as does the issue of whether a Member States need for seasonal workers can be satisfied by workers from other Member States or whether they rely on third-country nationals. There is no case for action at EU level.
The report was debated in the House of Lords on Wednesday 20 October at approximately 5:00pm