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The creation of a European minimum wage

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European Parliament

French MEP Sylvie Brunet (MoDem), member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, presents the main issues related to the creation of a European minimum wage.

The very important subject at the moment, at the social level, is a European framework for the minimum wage. The idea is to ensure that in all Member States there is a minimum wage reference which can be either conventional through collective agreements, as is the case in some northern countries, or by law.

The idea behind this is to make it clear that no country should be exempt from the concept of a minimum wage. There are still a number of Member States in Europe that do not have a benchmark at all. And the second problem is that some are at such low levels that it is ridiculous. And in fact, the general idea of all this is to fight against social dumping and not to find ourselves with States which are completely behind, which means that we do not have equitable mobility. So some people go to countries where they are much better paid for the same jobs and, conversely, they lose their skills.

The idea is really to move towards an upward convergence, as we say, in terms of social standards. We are not going to force all the countries to have 60% of the median wage in terms of minimum wages, but we are going to give indicative values that we think are good. And above all, the second major point is to encourage collective bargaining with a good wage coverage rate. It is important to know that there are Member States where this level is very low. I take Romania as an example, where there are only 20% of collective agreements. So the Member States, at the end of these texts, will have to provide elements of transparency on the number of agreements reached, indicators of progress on this number of agreements and also on the setting of this framework for a minimum wage. The idea is really to increase the benchmarks in Europe so that there is a decent wage everywhere.