On Wednesday 28 October, the European Commission has presented its proposal for a Directive on “adequate minimum wages in the European Union”. According to the proposal, this Directive aims at establishing “a framework for setting adequate levels of minimum wages”, and ensuring “access of workers to minimum wage protection, in the form of wages set out by collective agreements or in the form of a statutory minimum wage where it exists.”

Following the presentation, Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, commented:

“We remain convinced that a Council Recommendation would have been the proper way forward to address the issue of fair minimum wages in Europe. It is furthermore important to state that CEEP was open, during the two stages of the consultation process of social partners, to negotiate with our counterparts the content of a Council Recommendation. Social dialogue is always the best way to address issues directly impacting employers and workers.”

“Against that background, we welcome the fact that the European Commission clearly states in several articles, and in particular article 4, that collective bargaining remains the best instrument to achieve the objectives of the proposal and shall consequently be promoted all over Europe. However, CEEP will remain vigilant that this proposal does not endanger the autonomy of social partners when it comes to wages negotiations.”

“We now call on the European Parliament and the European Council to make sure that the role of social partners is protected and that the proposal supports and do not endanger our European economy in these difficult times. That is why we will insist that the Directive ensure sufficient time for transposition: we are indeed deeply concerned by the two-years timeline outlined in the proposal. An unrealistic timing for transposition at a time when Members States, national and local social partners are striving to face the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare the recovery, risks to further exacerbate inequalities instead of levelling them down.”

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