EU: the European Commission wants national minimum salaries that enable workers to live decently

While still candidate for the position of EU Commission President, and in a bid to secure European Socialist support for her candidacy, Ursula von der Leyen threw her support behind the concept of a minimum salary level that enables workers to live decently.* Accordingly on 14 January 2020, the EU Commission launched the first stage of the procedure towards its achievement, namely a consultation with the European social partners. Mindful of the need to respect national prerogatives, and especially those concerning collective bargaining, the Commission is not looking to define a European minimum salary level. Rather the goal is to establish a mechanism that enables local level salary minima setting such that the level and coverage ensures all workers do not live in poverty. However in addition to the minimum salary debate pursuing the usual union vs. employers lines, frank exchanges are also occurring within these separate organizations.

Through . Published on 14 January 2020 Ă  16h14 - Update on 14 January 2020 Ă  17h04

This marks the first consultation process between the European social partners as intended by the Treaty that enables the partners to present opinions on all the EU Commission’s social initiatives and even to drive the negotiations should they so wish. The EU Commission is thus asking representatives from both the employers and workers on the relevance of legislative action by the EU and whether they seek to lead negotiations on the issue as it pertains to the (i) adequacy of minimum salary levels, (ii) scope of such minimum salaries,…

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