Social Europe Network: minimum wages Directive adoption will make a difference

19/05/2022

PES Social Europe Network meeting by videoconference

PES Social Europe Network meeting by videoconference

The swift adoption of the EU Directive on adequate minimum wages will help millions of low paid workers across Europe – it’s time to reach agreement and put it into place, the Social Europe Network (SEN) of the Party of European Socialists (PES) said today.

Representatives of PES member parties and organisations, and civil society, met by videoconference to take stock of the negotiations on the Directive – a key socialist policy proposed by progressive European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and negotiated for the European Parliament by PvdA MEP and SEN Chair, Agnes Jongerius.

The Directive is a key part of socialists’ action to secure fair wages for all citizens, through either decent statutory minimum wages or provided by strong collective bargaining.

The PES Social Europe Network Chair, Agnes Jongerius MEP, said:

“To the millions of citizens who are struggling with the cost of living, to those working long hours for low pay, I want you to know that we are fighting hard to secure an agreement that will help you. This Directive can make a difference. It is vital that the negotiations conclude successfully.

“Socialists have fought long and hard to obtain this Directive, to shift the focus of EU policies to ensure work pays. We know that minimum wage protection is provided differently across the EU and this Directive respects those differences. Strengthening collective bargaining throughout Europe will be the game changer workers need.  

“Negotiations with the Council are still ongoing, and I am doing everything in my power to turn this Directive into a success.”

Socialist have fought hard to put fair wages on the EU institutions’ agenda, proposing the Directive, identifying solutions to respect national specificities, and negotiating for its implementation. We are fighting to raise minimum wages, strengthen social partners in collective bargaining, and put an end to wage devaluation policies.

Members of the SEN also exchanged on other issues on the social agenda. They expressed solidarity with Ukrainians fleeing the brutal Russian invasion and praised the mobilisation and aid delivered by member states, citizens, civil society and the private sector across the EU.  Thanks to progressives in the Commission, the Temporary Protection Directive has been activated, and CARE funding brought forward using Structural Funds, to better welcome Ukrainians fleeing the war. Beyond emergency measures, it is now vital to ensure education, healthcare, housing and employment are available to refugees.

The SEN also discussed the EU Care Strategy, the Directive on improving working conditions in platform work, minimum income schemes, and the European Year of Youth.