denmark and hungary oppose eu rules on minimum wages directive
European Union – Denmark and Hungary oppose EU (European Union) rules on minimum wage directive. The European Parliament agreed its negotiating position on the minimum wage directive two weeks ago. Subsequently, the majority of national ministers also agreed on a common position on the minimum wage directive. However, now, the only dissent coming from Denmark and Hungary.
In Denmark, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, Austria, and Sweden minimum wage protection is provided exclusively by collective agreements. However, the remaining 21 countries have statutory minimum wages set by governments. The two countries that disapproved of the minimum wages directive, reportedly feared that the proposal would undermine their well-established systems because in those countries, companies arrange working salaries with trade unions without state intervention.
Reportedly, the directive on adequate minimum wages was proposed by the European Commission in 2020. The directive aims to ensure that statutory minimum wages are adequately high, at least 60% of the national median wage, in countries that have a statutory minimum wage. However, the directive does not force member states to introduce statutory minimum wages if they don’t have any.
Slovenian labour minister Janez Cigler Kralj, whose country currently holds the rotating EU Council presidency, said that decent and fair pay must be ensured for the work done. He further said that people who work hard should not live in poverty and they must afford a decent standard of living, reported EU observer.
On 11 November, the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) adopted a report about the minimum wage directive. The report emphasized the broader social objectives of minimum wages in contributing to social convergence, reducing wage inequality, and combating in-work poverty. According to a briefing by the European Parliament, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU, ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2,142 in Luxembourg.