Minimum Wage

Contours of a European Wage Policy

Autor: Thorsten Schulten

October 2014 - Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Extract of the Introduction

The notion of a minimum wage policy coordinated across Europe has long been discussed within the EU (Schulten 2008, 2012). Not by chance it was originally developed especially in France, which has long had a particularly strong national minimum wage system. Thus it was the French Socialists who in 2004, in their European election programme, first called for the introduction of a salaire minimum Européen (Parti Socialiste 2004). Since then the demand for a European minimum wage policy has been debated in France, including former European Commission president Jacques Delors (2006), who called on the European trade unions and employers’ organisations to negotiate on the issue within the framework of the European social dialogue. The current French government is overtly seeking to introduce the notion of a European minimum wage into the EU institutions and has declared, with some relief, that discussions on the issue »are no longer taboo there (Repentin 2013). In order to advance the European debate, in the meantime, a concept paper has been published, under the aegis of the French ministry of the economy, on a possible European minimum wage standard (Brischoux et al. 2014