Paris — French President Emmanuel Macron embarks on a three-country tour of central and southeast Europe on Wednesday, hoping to drum up support for his EU reform agenda as his ratings falter at home. The focus of the trip to Austria, Romania and Bulgaria will be his push to change a controversial EU regulation allowing companies to send workers to other member states without paying local social charges. Macron, elected in May, has vowed to overhaul the posted workers directive because it is used by eastern European companies to undercut their rivals in wealthier EU members such as France. For example, it enables a Polish firm to win a contract in France and send Polish workers to carry out the work without having to pay French social charges, which are higher than in Poland. The challenge of having foreign companies competing unfairly with French ones is seen by Macron as a driver of anti-EU sentiment which helped the eurosceptic far-right and left to record scores in France’s elec...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now