European lawmakers expected to approve EU-wide minimum wage for workers

Workers repair a street during hot weather in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
Workers repair a street during hot weather in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Copyright Paul White/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Stefan Grobe
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The vote on Wednesday would see the living standards for millions of European workers improved.


The European Parliament is set to guarantee an adequate minimum wage for everybody on the continent, as rising inflation continues to hit citizens hard.

On Tuesday, MEPs in Strasbourg debated a final deal that was negotiated with EU countries in June, with lawmakers deciding on the matter Wednesday. The vote is expected to pass. 

Some MEPs, such as the Greens co-chair Ska Keller, praised the proposal as a strong signal in the current crisis.

"This directive is a very, very important step in order to tackle the structural poverty that we see in the European Union," Keller told Euronews on Tuesday. 

"There are so many people who struggle to make ends meet even before we talk about inflation, even before we talk about sky-rocketing energy prices. So, it's very important to get a structural change there into place. This will benefit millions of European citizens."

The agreed legislation aims to ensure that minimum wages in all EU countries guarantee decent living standards for workers.

It will apply to all EU workers who have an employment contract or employment relationship.

For Hungarian socialist MEP, Klara Dobrev, it is the "end of an era" in Europe.

"For decades, European countries have competed among themselves where workers are cheaper, where they are vulnerable, and that was a so-called advantage," Dobrev told Euronews. "And this is the end of an era when competitiveness is measured by a cheap and vulnerable labour force."

Based on the legislation, member states will have to assess whether the level of lowest wages are adequate, taking into account their own purchasing power or socio-economic conditions.

They will then have an obligation to monitor whether employers apply the new rules.

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