Delors sees need for EU minimum salary

Urging UNICE to re-engage in the European Social Dialogue, the former Commission President Jacques Delors backed a common minimum salary.    

The Party of European Socialists, PES, has launched an initiative to forge a New Social Europe. The overall challenge is to secure jobs and  Europe’s traditional levels of social protection in the face of pressure for globalisation.

Former Commission President Jacques Delors co-chairs the initiative with PES president Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. 

At a press conference on 28 June Delors said that the Social Dialogue at EU level, a brain child of his, was in a bad state, and warned UNICE against the current “benign neglect” of the process:

“The European institutions must encourage employers to return to the table. There is a need to talk about concrete issues such as setting a common minimum salary and strengthening European work councils. A common minimum salary, set in proportion to each member states’ level of development, should be debated in the context of Social Dialogue, ” Delors said.

Delors rejected that the proclaimed liberal views of the current Commission president Barroso could be detrimental to the PES project of promoting a new social Europe. “It it is the EU governments that decide on the policies,” he said, urging EU leaders to ‘think European’ more often, adding they should “look further than the end of their noses”.          

PES president Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, explained that the EU should “not be about competition between states, but about building social bridges. The member states face different choices, but they should not make choices against each other.” 

The final PES report on a New Social Europe will be presented in at the PES congress in December. 

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