• Guest of France Info this Tuesday, François Ruffin, deputy LFI, denounced blockages at the European level of France and Emmanuel Macron on three points: paternity leave, the tax on financial transactions and the status of platform workers.

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    verified these three claims.

Did Emmanuel Macron put a brake on certain proposals from the European Commission?

This is what François Ruffin said on Tuesday morning on France Info.

“When Europe wants to move in the right direction, who is blocking it?

This is France, this is Emmanuel Macron”, launched the LFI deputy, candidate for his re-election, before taking three examples: “paternity leave”, “taxes on financial transactions” and “platform workers ".

"There was the will, including the European Commission, to move towards real paternity leave with a guaranteed minimum everywhere", he detailed.

"On Uber workers, on platform workers, the European Parliament and the European Commission agree that we should move towards recognizing these workers under employee status".

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verified these three statements by the MP for Picardy.

Thus, when he mentioned “paternity leave” François Ruffin was referring to a directive that had been proposed by the European Commission.

This aimed to guarantee paternity leave of at least ten days in all EU Member States, as well as parental leave of four months, without the possibility of transferring this leave from one parent to another.

To encourage fathers to take this leave, the Commission provided that they receive an income during these periods at least equivalent to what they would receive in the event of illness.

A “potentially explosive cost”

It is this point that raised the opposition of Emmanuel Macron.

If he had assured of his "full commitment" to the development of paternity and parental leave during a speech in the European Parliament on April 17, 2018, he had also denounced a "potentially explosive cost" if they were paid at the same level than sick leave.

The directive adopted in June 2019 finally leaves the responsibility to each State to set the conditions for compensating parental leave.

In France, an employed parent who takes parental leave to care for a child under the age of three can receive an allowance of 405.98 euros per month, if he stops working completely.

He can receive another allowance, subject to means, the amount of which varies between 175 and 87.50 euros per month.

Less than 1% of fathers requested this allowance in January 2015, compared to nearly 14% of mothers, according to an OFCE study published in 2019.

Regarding the European tax on financial transactions, it is a sea serpent that was already agitating the EU long before the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the Republic in 2017. In 2011, there are more ten years ago, the European Commission had proposed a common tax system on all financial transactions.

A proposal which had not been adopted due to the differences of the Member States on the question.

In 2020, the tax returned to the table, put on the agenda by the European Parliament, but it has still not been adopted.

In September 2021, the Ministry of the Economy assured that “France remained mobilized to reach an agreement quickly”.

What gets stuck is the definition of the future tax: what basis should be imposed?

Discussions are currently taking place between ten countries, including France.

According to the MEP Nouvelle Donne Pierre Larrouturou, France has positioned itself for less extensive taxation than that proposed by other countries.

Finally, when referring to “Uber workers”, François Ruffin alluded to a directive proposed a few months ago by the European Commission.

Published in December 2021, it aims to define whether certain workers, such as delivery people, could fall under the status of "employee" and therefore obtain the social rights of employees.

The Commission has defined criteria to determine whether the platform is an “employer”.

This directive has not yet been voted on.

Questioned by a senator on December 16, Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Labour, seemed to distance herself from this proposal from the European Commission: "The approach adopted by the European Commission raises questions as to its very interest for workers", said she then launched.

She implied that the text could undergo modifications: "These questions [about the Commission's approach] will find their answer in the normal process of adopting a directive: it is a long time, which should allow many iterations between the European Commission, the Member States and the European Parliament”.

To answer this question of the status of delivery people and other assets working for platforms, Elisabeth Borne and the government have for the moment preferred the choice of social dialogue.

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