Juncker argues in favour of instigating EU minimum wage

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 16:40
Juncker argues for the minimum wage - firstly in the eurozone and then EU-wide. Juncker argues for the minimum wage - firstly in the eurozone and then EU-wide. © Belga
The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, argued on Monday in favour of instigating “the minimum wage”, firstly in the eurozone then in all EU states.
“I believe that everywhere in Europe, within all of our member states, there should be a minimum wage starting with the eurozone. Clearly all work deserves to be fairly rewarded,” he told the European Executive, during a Brussels conference on social rights.

“Whatever field the work falls into, there should a minimum wage in each EU state (...) The same remark applies for the various manifestations of income support or the guaranteed minimum income,” he added.

He agreed, “Within Europe, a dignity threshold ought to be respected. This minimum income should not be the same everywhere in all EU countries. Within Europe, it may be ridiculous to claim that this should be so.”

He drummed out, “All of our national legislations have a minimum wage and a guaranteed minimum income appears to be the icing on the cake for the European social dimension.”

The former Luxembourg Prime Minister, who was also Minister of Finances and the Employment Minister in the Grand Duchy, says this minimum wage should not go “against all considerations revolving around competitiveness,” a way of reseponding to the fears of small and medium enterprises.

The minimum wage, which has been in existence for a long time in France was only introduced throughout Germany on January 1st, 2015. Germany was the first economy in the eurozone to previously have the minimum wage negotiated through sectoral agreements that did not necessarily encompass all occupations.

The European Commission intends to make proposals in March for a European bedrock of social rights. Mr Juncker, moreover, announced that he would be organising a Social Summit for Jobs and Fair Growth with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, in Göteborg, later this year on November 17th.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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