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Competition Policy

Collective bargaining agreements for self-employed – assessing the scope of application of Article 101 TFEU

Policy field

Competition: Antitrust


Target group

All citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation


Period of consultation

From 05.03.2021 to 28.05.2021


Objective of the consultation

Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") prohibits agreements between undertakings that restrict competition. The Court of Justice of the European Union has recognised that collective bargaining between employees and employers falls outside the scope of the application of EU competition rules. However, genuine self-employed are considered "undertakings" under EU law and agreements they enter into (such as collective bargaining agreements) risk therefore being in breach of the EU competition law.

The European Commission has launched an initiative to ensure that EU competition law does not stand in the way of collective agreements that aim to improve the working conditions of solo self-employed people, while guaranteeing that consumers and SMEs continue to benefit from competitive prices and innovative business models, including in the digital economy. The initiative seeks to achieve this objective by clarifying the applicability of EU competition law to collective bargaining by solo self-employed. In parallel, the European Commission has launched a separate initiative that focuses on the working conditions in platform work on the basis of the social policy provisions of the TFEU, which is not subject to this open public consultation.

The European Commission is seeking the views of stakeholders in the present open public consultation in order to assess the current situation of solo self-employed, to identify the added value of EU action in this area and the likely impacts of these policy options. The Commission will take this information into account in assessing the value and impact of action in this area.


How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.
Click here to submit your contributions


Consultation document / Questionnaire

Press Release: Commission invites stakeholders to provide comments on the application of EU competition law to collective bargaining agreements for self-employed de en fr.


Reference documents and other related consultations


Contact details

Responsible service:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A4-ECN
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT. 5694

COMP-COLLECTIVE-BARGAINING-1atec [dot] europa [dot] eu (COMP-COLLECTIVE-BARGAINING-1[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
1049 Bruxelles /Brussel
Belgique /België