Warsaw, 23rd April 2021
European minimum wage – smothering the EU economy
at a key moment in overcoming the crisis
The Directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union will have detrimental effects on the European labour market and economy. Furthermore, the directive may worsen the situation of the most vulnerable workers, make it more difficult for the EU to recover from the ongoing crisis, and disrupt well-functioning collective bargaining systems. These are the main reasons why the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, together with SME Connect and the European Enterprise Alliance, co-hosted a Round Table on the European Minimum Wage on 23rd April.
The round table constituted a platform for the exchange of experiences and opinions for Polish and European as well as global organisations that helped shed new light on the proposals of the European Commission. The negative impact on companies affected by the crisis, the marginalisation of the most vulnerable of workers, and the growing number of people employed on the basis of other forms than a contact are merely a few of the actual effects of the directive, which are being downplayed by the Commission. That is also why the discussion covered the aspect of the Commission’s competences in the field of remuneration, the issue of the lack of a minimum wage in individual EU countries, or the impact of the directive on the competitiveness of the European economy on world markets.
Over the course of the event, a letter to EU authorities on the European Minimum Wage was published. It was addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli and President of the European Council Charles Michel. The signatories of the appeal who object the proposal of a European minimum wage are 25 Polish and European institutions, including employers’ organisations, associations, and think tanks.
The authors of the letter firmly stressed that the European Union should remain a place of freedom and cooperation, where practices of one EU member states are not imposed in other member states. The signatories also drew attention to the fact that the proposal for adequate minimum wages in the European Union is focused on achieving political goals and fails to take into account the real effects of the regulations introduced, which will – first and foremost – negatively affect those whom the directive was supposed to help, that is, those who earn the least.