Today,  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will present  new legislation for minimum wages in the EU. Dennis Radtke MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Employment and

Social Affairs Committee, welcomes this initiative.

"It is very clear that we cannot tolerate social dumping in the European Union. I am glad that Commissioner Nicolas Schmit has not rehashed the Leftist idea of a centrally-decided uniform minimum wage for the entire EU, but is instead focused on collective agreements", he said.

"Fair and equitable wages are never set by the state, but by the parties to collective agreements. This has to continue and we need to strengthen social partners and collective bargaining. However, where the level of collective bargaining is declining, the state must intervene and should not duck its responsibilities. More and more companies in Europe seem to be under the impression that they can escape our social conduct and underpay their workers. This has to stop”, he added.

"Minimum wages play a crucial role in allowing Europeans to earn a decent and fair living wherever they work. Member States are encouraged to set their own minimum wages according to their national customs, traditions and budgetary capabilities. While a vibrant labour market remains the key for higher wages and social protection, rightly set minimum wages decrease poverty and inequality. They have become a crucial part of our social market economy", stressed Radtke.

"Socio-economic conditions and minimum wage policies in EU Member States differ widely. National circumstances have to be taken into account when minimum wages are set, which is why it must remain a Member State competence. The EPP Group will debate and assess the Commission's proposal thoroughly", concluded Radtke.

Katrin Goodman,

Photo by Ra'ike (Wikipedia), Wikimedia commons.