The judgment of the Court of Justice of 11 December 2014 concerning port labour in Spain has put a lot of pressure on the Belgian Port Labour Policy.

The Belgian legislation is very similar to the Spanish Ley de Puertos del Estado y de la Marina Mercante (e.g.: compulsory affiliation to one exclusive employers' organization and the compulsory employment of port labourers through this organization). Moreover, on different points the Spanish legislation appears to be less restrictive than the Belgian legislation. A comparative European study of January 2013 shows that in Belgium, and especially in the port of Antwerp, access to the market of port labour is more rigidly controlled than in any other EU member state.

Various professional organizations have indicated that the Belgian practices are not in line with European law. However, as a recent statement demonstrates, the Belgian government refuses to jump to conclusions: "At no time has the European Commission stated that the Belgian Law on Port Labour should be amended. However, the organization of port labour is largely done through executive decisions and collective labour agreements, some elements of which bother the Commission."

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