The European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy (INFR(2021)4055) for failing to comply with EU rules on free movement of workers (Regulation (EU) No 492/2011). Under EU law, EU citizens who exercise their right to free movement must not be discriminated against because of their nationality as regards access to employment and working conditions. In its ruling in case C-119/04, the Court of Justice of the European Union stated that a 2004 Italian law provides an acceptable framework for the so-called reconstruction of careers of foreign lecturers (‘Lettori’) in Italian universities.
This means that the law allows for the adjustment of their salary, seniority and corresponding social security benefits to those of a researcher under a part-time contract, and it grants them the right to back-payments as of the start of their employment. However, the majority of universities did not take the steps needed for a correct reconstruction of the Lettori’s careers, the result being that most foreign lecturers have still not received the money to which they are entitled.
Italy has not adopted the necessary measures since the launch of the infringement procedure in September 2021 and is therefore still discriminating against foreign lecturers. Italy now has two months to take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
This threat was issued today by the Commission to take Italy before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in two months if Italy fails to pay the arrears in wages and pensions of its non-Italian lecturers.
On a statement sent to The European Times, David Petrie, chairman of the lecturers union Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy said today:
From his side, Henry Rodgers, a lettore himself very active with Asso. CEL.L, and the FLC CGIL trade union, has said in his latest article that: