The new piece of legislation gives seafarers the same rights with regard to information and consultation as those enjoyed by workers on shore while taking into account the particular nature of the shipping sector. It is based on a joint position reached by the social partners in the maritime sector.
Apart from ensuring a level playing field in the maritime sector, the directive aims at increasing the quality of maritime jobs. The goal is to reverse the current decline in the number of young Europeans entering certain maritime professions and to retain skilled workers in the profession.
It also intends to remedy the current legal situation which gives rise to unequal treatment of the same category of workers by different member states. Currently this differs depending on whether or not they apply the exemptions and derogations allowed by the current legislation. Most member states have made little or no use of the exclusions.
Legislative process: next steps
The European Parliament's Employment Committee is expected to confirm the text during its meeting on 28 May 2015. Following lawyer-linguist revision, the text could be voted by the European Parliament's Plenary in July 2015 and signed by the two institutions in September.