Should EU countries agree to a common European minimum wage? Many economists argue that Europe has benefited from cheap labour costs in Central and Eastern Europe, but the rise of populist, anti-immigration parties suggests that not everybody is happy with this dynamic. Critics have long argued that wages are being kept down in Western Europe because workers in Eastern Europe are willing to accept much lower pay. Could the solution be to pay them more?

We had a comment sent in on our “Suggest a Debate” page from maier, who asked when the EU would have a minimum wage.

At the moment, minimum wage policies vary enormously across all EU member states. In Sweden and Denmark, for example, there is no national minimum wage, with salaries being agreed by sector through collective bargaining between unions and employers. And among those countries that do pay a minimum wage, the difference in the sums involved is vast; the national minimum wage in Bulgaria is just 235 EUR per month, which is almost ten times lower than the minimum wage in Luxembourg.

Should there be a European minimum wage? Or are European economies too different for a European minimum wage to be realistic? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Leonard J Matthews

331 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar
      Teo Nagy

      Would hurt eastern eu businesses especially, and lower quality of life in west

    • avatar
      Hr Tom Mosen

      at the same time giving the poorest citizens a lifeworthy income…well i wouldnt mind if the rich and upper middel class had to pay for that expence. thir living standart needs regulation anyway, or there will grow a solid wall of nepotisme around them.
      in regards to ‘hurt eu buisness’ – eu buisness have been riding the backs of the lower classes for 30 years now! when will we see some workers rights, and welthfare projects?…there are plenty of buisness projects – but no projects to highten the living standart of the population…

  1. avatar
    Virsta Gregory

    yes, good question…but the wage is calculated on each GDP… i can not expect that Romanians to have the same minimum wage as the Germans, or from Luxembourg…

  2. avatar
    Teo Nagy

    No, would hurt eastern eu businesses and lower west eu wages by a lot

  3. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It would be interesting to see who is going to pay for it, I can’t imagine they will be happy.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      It would increase emigration to richer member states due to a fall in investment in poorer nations leading to fewer jobs.

      Global economics 101

  4. avatar
    Azad Maruf

    Not would be like that as long as the money and media powered energetic waves were controled by desires of some well known political leaders…That Era is the Era of corruption but you are as European people are little bit selfish and not willing to comprehend that phenominon…

    • avatar
      Faddi Zsolt

      Absolutely! Economy is basically not else than maximalisation of capital at any costs, so it’s the maximal exploitation of any resources. As such a phenomenon it is dangerous to humanity and living organisms, and our environment. The robbed goods must be returned to people as a minimal income, or economy must be drastically changed…

  5. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Companies invest in poor countries because of the lower labour costs so if you make them pay more it would only decrease the investment and thereby increase unemployment and emigration.

  6. avatar
    Tobias Stricker

    We have a German saying: Gut gemeint ist das Gegenteil von gut gemacht. (Good intentions are the opposite of doing something good.)

  7. avatar
    Azad Maruf

    Already highlighted that dear…re read my words to get me correctly…so sorry to hear your random reactions..may Allah guide you in the best ways to understand Islam…not need to awfully accuse us more…

    • avatar
      İvor Jelic

      Why? Because they would have some money instead of being cashless?

    • avatar
      Karlo Definis

      Because being poor and free is better than being poor and under communist (“socialist”) state… which this would be.

    • avatar
      Karlo Definis

      I will not add an insult to the injury that is being you. Raised better than that. Be well and I hope you make it.

  8. avatar
    Tobias Stricker

    What should be the benefit? basically, all EU countries HAVE a minimum wage. Raising it to the level of the wealthiest nation across all Europe? This minimum wage is just protectionism of the rich countries to protect them against cheaper competition. The real problem is that we do not have a real common market where craftsmen from Poland can do a project in Germany or a Spanish construction company build a street in France.

    • avatar
      Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      I wouldn’t say that, actually we have the exact opposite for example a construction worker from Greece how is working for a Greek company on a project in France will be payed a Greek wage. ..

    • avatar
      Tobias Stricker

      Παυλος Χαραλαμπους The problem is that exactly this is not the case. It differs a little from the national laws on it, but even a truck driver driving through for example Germany has to be paid for that hours the German minimum wage. They specially introduced it to protect German truck driver. This shows the absurdity. Same for construction. The problem with this is that the weaker economies are weak because they cannot compete in producing goods either with the high-tech countries or with the Asian low wage countries. They are stuck between. Their only option is services offered for a lower price to the wealthy countries. But because this would create pressure on the low skilled worker in that rich countries, they make crazy protectionism and is leaving the weaker economies with no options.

  9. avatar
    Guillem Martí Bou


    Fix a public price about a commodity (Work in this case) always drive to the misery. In this case very much higher unemployement in the less productive groups of workers.

  10. avatar
    Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    Yes and no i mean yes there must be a minimum basic wage based on the ” cost of living ” in every country least it ill every country in the union can be ” synchronized “

  11. avatar
    Angelo Bayada

    I’m with Pavlos. Minimum wage compulsory to a certain standard rather than a universal sum otherwise it will either stiff workers in more expensive countries or ruin workers in cheaper countries

  12. avatar
    Imanuel d'Anjou

    How about we first go about enforcing the laws already in place? I don’t think a Romanian or Bulgarian minimum wage is relatively worse than others, but make sure they get it because this is still a bigger problem.

    No point in raising the bar if it is out of reach anyways

  13. avatar
    Diogo Santos

    Absolutely not; that would drive unemployment given the different productivity levels.

  14. avatar
    Rachel O'Connor

    No, but we need a global corporate tax rate to ensure they pay fairly in any country they operate in.

  15. avatar
    Azad Maruf

    That two highlighted compulsory duties as explained above , Ivan Burrows?
    I am certain on that Mr. IVAN you have not had an educated Muslim friend or work mate to discuss the realities of everything as it is . that is in fact, what you hear and see about Islam is totaly missrepresented by the terrorists and the Anti-Muslim groups in the west…

  16. avatar
    Anna Tsoukala

    Are we dreaming here?? This can never happen because each and every country has its own GDP. Besides the richer countries are greedy. ….. don’t want to share their wealth….good morning from sunny Athens.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Anna Tsoukala
      I think some EU countries would share their wealth with poorer LESS CORRUPT and LESS LAZY countries.

  17. avatar

    EU minimum wage is the nicest dream for the naive eastern europeans. It’s not gonna happened, ever. Excuse my skepticism, but from personal perspectives, EU is more like “Obey, or we will crush you!” rather than “Let’s solve it in a less painful and harmful manner for those exposed more to the dramatic changes”. In theory, an across EU minimum wage will skip a tremendous amount of trouble, especially regarding central politics centrifugal tendencies, and masked economic protectionism perspectives. But again, it’s too good to be true.

  18. avatar
    Róbert Bogdán

    No. Universal minimum wage is a bad idea, it hurts the economy. Instead, negotiations between unions and employers, on a sector-by-sector basis, would be preferable.

    • avatar
      Nicolette Ladoulis

      How has that been working..ask the Belgian dairy farmers..

    • avatar
      Róbert Bogdán

      What’s the relevance? Are you referring to the CETA deal?

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      ……….that makes more sense! Question: does the Eunion insinuate wishing to act as “trade union” in future as well? Paradox or typical politburo thinking?

  19. avatar
    Emrah Sarısoy

    I believe it shouldn’t be questioned even. We must question the logic of minimum salary. If there is a minimum salary it must be set based on the minimum standards. Then the question becomes what is the minimum standard for a human being in that country.

  20. avatar
    Vitor F Veiga

    Yes. Since automation and big multinationals like google take all the business, there should be some social security net.

  21. avatar
    Eugene Kelly

    Unfortunately, as a society, we promote greed – we even have a “rich list” where people with more money and property than they can ever use jostle for the “privilege” of having the biggest number.

    I have some admiration for Bill Gates, who appears to be using his fortune to do some good. I noticed that he has been overtaken by the bids of Amazon – I don’t even remember his name, just that he has no interest in philanthropy.

  22. avatar
    Rob Eastham

    Yes, but setting the level will need be tricky. I imagine it would need to be staggered and gradually harmonised across the EU.

  23. avatar
    Maricela Potoc

    Yes. A decent European minimum wage would also diminish immigration from Eastern European countries because it would allow us to have a good life here and not worry about bills when we work 8h/day. The national minimum wage we have now doesn’t really cover even the basic expenses for an individual like food and shelter. You should not continue this situation anymore. People working full-time should get enough to have a decent life living alone.

    • avatar
      Eugene Kelly

      It might also encourage the poor to achieve a better life. Why should they suffer just because you don’t like the lazy?

    • avatar
      Daniel Octavian Nita

      In my opinion being lazy is not a problem at all. It becomes a problem only when those who are lazy pretend to receive money on a long time basis. In my opinion EU should find other type of public policies to help poor persons, including better access to education and to jobs, as well as better access to develop their own business (start-ups).

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Eugene Kelly

      Why should the German tax payer subsidise wages in the East & South of the EU ?

    • avatar
      Eugene Kelly

      I don’t know – perhaps because a Europe where everyone has sufficient would be better than what we have now?

    • avatar
      Daniel Octavian Nita

      Eugene Kelly , this is utopia. People should have sufficient in a sustainable way. Sufficiency cannot be achieved by giving money on long term basis to those who chose a “passive” way of life. The communist experiment failed all over the world and it is so obvious why it failed.

  24. avatar
    Jo Butcher

    Perhaps it should be done as a percentage, rather than a € figure. Each country (based on cost of living, houses, rent.etc) has a to have a percentage “worth” as opposed to the country with the highest minimum wage. Something along those lines.

  25. avatar
    Matej Mlinarič

    Its not that simple to just select a number and force it on businesses. Sure there should be a wage that is sufficient to live on but to determine how much that is presents a problem. Cause ultimately its up to businesses to determine how much can they afford to pay and cover the expenses for employees and rest of goods. So if you don’t take this things into consideration then businesses will be forced to have less employed and those that do work will have to do more. But if businesses want to exploit their workforce and enrich themselves instead then someone would have to step in to keep them in line for sake of greater good which is community that depends on those wages.

  26. avatar
    Deniss K Victorovich

    Well it is failure to have same monetary policy without fiscal policy, so yes atleast it will balance dysfunctional equation of GDP

  27. avatar
    Filipe Nunes

    I think it’s not a bad idea, but it seems a little utopic for now, since the economies and fiscal systems of the different member states are very different. So, start by harmonizing the different fiscal systems. But I agree that there should be a minimum wage in place in every country.

  28. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Yes, a more social EU, EU wide. Enough with minimum wages being different in different countries. The economic benefits should not just be for corporations, it should include people. Also the actual benefits system shoukd be equal. My brother got treated very unfairly in Cyprus because he left to work in another EU member country and when he came back to Cyprus he wasn’t covered when he lost his new job in Cyprus. Disgusting. What is the point of free EU travel if you get penalised for doing it?

  29. avatar

    Sure, why not? Same qualifications, same jobs, same income. But please let us copy the Schandinavian basic income. We are all worth it.

  30. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    prima dell’Unione europea e dell’euro in Europa tutti lavoravano ed avevano uno stipendio dignitoso con tutte le tutele sociali. Ci viene chiesto quello che vogliamo? Nè più e nè meno di quello che avevamo prima della UE e dell’euro. Before the European Union and the euro in Europe everyone was working and had a decent salary with all social protection. Are we asked what we want? No more or less than what we had before the EU and the euro.

  31. avatar
    Ricardo Garcia Pereira

    As a portuguese, I know what happens with a minimun wage:
    All salaries will follow the rule of the lowest value, when the labour market saturates.

    Portuguese minimum wage is very low. People can barably survive.

    So it would be a great ideia, but big “interests ” would live milions to povetry.

    Or the european minimum wage would be an huge amount in countries like Portugal, or People will starve uns countries like Austria and Germany…

  32. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    In my country , the women are less payed than the men ; not the same for the Denmark.
    Denmark has the best ( social ) , quality standards .

  33. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    YES! The prices and the taxes are as in Western Europe, but salaries are lower between five to ten times than in old European countries.

  34. avatar
    Edita Buržinskaitė

    Yes, that would be nice. It would also reduce emigration from poorer EU Member States into the richer ones from which all of them would benefit.

    • avatar
      Javier Ramírez Domínguez

      No, you didn’t get it, the idea is to invest in making richer the poorest countries

    • avatar
      Александър Михайлов

      That is what you rhink is going to happen. That is what the communists claimed they wanted. But instead of making the poorest richer, they ended up making everyone poorer. I am beginning to think that everything the EU does is harmful. Levelling the minimum wage across Europe will instantly make it harder for labor from poorer countries to compete, and there is no immediate solution to this, and until one is found, this would make people from poorer countries even poorer. Replacing all competition inside the EU with cooperation will bring about the socialist utopia of everyone becoming equally poor.

  35. avatar

    Yeah. UBIE is the correct path for EU. You better do it asap

  36. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    “At the moment, minimum wage policies vary enormously across all EU member states. “ ……..with good reasons……….! Neoliberal EUConmission isn’t it in your “comparative interest” to keep that way! Creating the illusion of fairness & socialism?

    Bulgarians- it’s an EU/DE invitation to invade & overrun Luxembourg’s paradise- why wait!

  37. avatar
    Daniel Pluskota

    yes. Now its like one union and two worlds. The same position: 500 EUR vs 2000 EUR while cost of getting by isnt proportional to avg national salary.

  38. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    It is not practical to do that, if EU is not one country with one economy.

    To fight poverty, there could be an EU Social Protection Fund which would guarantee a minimum income of €500 per person per month for every citizen, ONLY in case they live with less than that. It doesn’t matter whether a person is employed, unemployed, a child or a pensioner. This fund would also take care of EU internal migrants and replace the need for individual countries to provide for them. Immigration will fall anyway, because people will not feel forced to look for a job in another country, if their low income is compensated in their home country. I have no idea how many million people in the EU live with less than €500 a month, but it may mean that EU membership for each country is increased to up to 5% of GDP, while other EU funds are reduced. Also there could be a requirement for each country to have a minimum wage of at least €500, in order to be covered by the Social Fund.

    • avatar
      John Mitchell

      A good answer! We also need to take into account that those nations where pay is lower also pay less for a beer and a sausage.
      A simplified fact to illustrate the point only. Never the less, a fact.

  39. avatar
    Anders Molin

    The interest rates goes up because people are borrowing. Better to give them an income that provides for food and shelter. A basic income.

  40. avatar
    Paul X

    To those advocating UBI, there are several flaws in the proposal…

    Firstly, to work it has to actually be “Universal”…..If Europe goes it alone all that would happen is European goods go up in price to fund UBI but the people will spend more of there money outside Europe buying cheaper goods on the global market so the net result is a drain on the European economy..the only way to prevent this is a (more) protectionist Europe forcing people to buy expensive goods and therefore negating most of the advantage of UBI

    ….and if you think Europe has an immigration problem at the moment can you imagine how it will be if everyone finds out how much you can get for doing sweet FA in Europe?

    The supposed funding boost from not having to manage a social security system….all this means is job losses and less tax revenues from people who are currently working for the social security

    Some people are incapable of managing money and will blow it all on drink, cigarettes and drugs..what is the safety net for these people to prevent them killing themselves (or their kids) through neglect…a social security system? (see above)

    The problem finding people willing to do the unpopular low paid jobs, some people work to survive, give them free money and they will quit work

    Those who don’t need it will just save it, therefore taking more money out of the economy

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love an extra few hundred £ a month to put aside for a luxury holiday every year, but unfortunately I don’t see it happening in my lifetime

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Paul X

      What you write stands up only if you decide the European standard of living must fall, in order to correspond with the rest of the world. Where, as you say, our costs result in what you term, expensive. Expense, in real terms, is relative and based on perception.

      As I wrote on another thread, to remain at our present standard of living, which is rapidly deteriorating with governmental encouraged influx of low paid third world expectations, protectionism is a must. And this protectionism has to encompass all levels of the economy and society. Protectionism is the essence of survival. We must become self sufficient, with high standards for our quality of life. Not low standards of health, food, lifestyle conditions (sewers) and expectations. We are dragging our standards down to third world levels, rather than raising every aspect of our lives out of the horrors we see elsewhere. And by doing so, encourage the rest of the planet to aspire to and adopt what they see in widespread Europe. And please don’t say this is not possible. That is a ridiculous point of view. The will is all that is needed. Along with the ability to envision the concept.

      Globalists will homogenise Europe to the equivalent of the lowest, so there is no perceptible difference between our standard of living and expectation, as there is to those who are unwilling to demand it be theirs. It suits the pockets of the top earners to do so. They want the least amount of choice to promote global marketing. To make it possible to be the lowest quality provided by the fewest number of suppliers.They despise quality and durability. As well as individuality, and a perception of choice in difference. Which, is why, for example, all the cars we see today, no matter cost, or, name, look identical. It is enforced universality..

      The biggest problem Europe has is political correctness and the stultifying effect this lunacy has on the population. It is not acceptable to endure and grovel in lower standards because to speak of it offends. How crazy is such thinking? It’s the equivalent of saying, we must founder in sewage, as to draw attention to its stench, may offend the rectum.

      There has to be a European minimum wage. And closed border thinking, to raise the aspirations of the planet. Without that, we will remain on this overwhelming downward spiral of human existence.

  41. avatar

    we are one big european state with no borders EU minimum wage shold be number one priority same laws same wages same rights for all Europeans. If no its only another try to slave other nations by big conteries

  42. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Definately. Free travel, same minimum wage, same benefits. Or else it is unequal and unfair. My brother went for 8 months with no benefits. This is because he left his country to work in another EU country and when he returned he lost his job. After 6 months he wasn’t entitled to the conditional GMI because he wasn’t in his own country for 5 continuous years before his application and we had to wait for appeals to go through. Disgusting. Why use free travel if you get penalised for it?

  43. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    Minimum wage is just a pipe dream sold to gullible people to make them think they are getting something for nothing..

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      In my country, the Netherlands, in Belgium and in the Scandinavian member-states, small to medium businesses are thriving, although all these countries have a minimum wage. Can you explain this phenomenon to me?

  44. avatar
    Oli Lau

    no. i live in spain. i don’t need the same revenue i had in Belgium. i live better while earning less. everything cost less.

  45. avatar
    Rui Daniel

    At least; further harmonization of wage parity in the euro area would be a good measure to eliminate corporate schemes of wage dumping and prevent wage devaluation ( race to the bottom ) as a tool for competitiveness among member states.But for this to be possible, reforms towards federalization would be essencial.

  46. avatar
    Raúl Toledo Salvador

    It’s a weird idea. Try to put same in France and Bulgaria, for example. Or French starve (for being too low) or Bulgarian companies are unable to pay that money (for being too high). We have too different economies in EU.

    • avatar
      Andrea Scacchi

      I agree!
      That why we shouldn’t have the same currency.
      Economy 101

    • avatar
      Γουλιέλμος Μαργκερον

      We don’t need to make it at once you know. But till we don’t have the same minimum wage, the same taxes… Europe will always stay a place were it’s all about competition between people instead of sharing. So, let’s start now to make it possible to have the same minimum wage in all countries in 15 years.

  47. avatar
    Andrea Scacchi

    These questions explain why an economic union of different economies is, in the end, wrong.
    My two cents are: yes minimum wage in accordance with local cost of living. Who does the math? The economist!
    At least they’ll serve a pourpouse..

    • avatar
      Erik Jakub Citterberg

      Tomáš Polišenský Not Even USA has the same minimum wage in every state and I feel like there is a bigger difference between Bulgaria and Switzerland than Massachussets and Wyoming.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      But what if you link the minimum wage to the purchasing power of a euro in a specific country?

    • avatar
      Erik Jakub Citterberg

      Then you do not have the same european minimum wage and still people are complaining because electronics, clothes and cars cost everywhere prtty much the same.

    • avatar
      Ana Antonio

      It will soon. In 10 yrs or so AI and Automation will kill 90% of jobs in the western world. We will have to find other ways to funcion, or we will have even more millions starving to death. We will have to find ways to redistribute wealth created by robots, or our civilization will collapse.

      25/10/2017 Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley and an expert on Artificial Intelligence, has responded to this comment.

      25/10/2017 Lie Junius, Director of EU Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Erik Jakub Citterberg prices of food, housing, energy, public transport and health differ greatly between states. The median income per month in the Netherlands is (approx) $4,289 in the Czech republic it is (approx, OECD data from 2016 ) $1,065. You are right, cars, designer clothing and iPhones aren’t very much cheaper in Prague compared to Amsterdam. But garantueeing every EU citizen a living wage, enough to pay the rent, food and clothing and a beer every now and then for our Czech friends would stabilize member-states. That would benefit us all. (I think that economic stability is a huge factor in creating social and political stability, which, in turn is great for the economy).

    • avatar
      Erik Jakub Citterberg

      Food is literally cheaper in Germany than Czech republic if you don’t count restaurants, meat and some diary.

      Also, national states are working on that, and while V4 countries could take 15% increase in salaries even now, I don’t know what would Bulgaria started to sell to be competitive against Germany in technology and efficiency. I agree with you that those things should be guaranteed, but do you trust EÚ government to do it?

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Erik Jakub Citterberg That’s why ‘we’ (the richer part of the continent) should invest heavily in the less wealthy parts of the continent, so that Bulgaria can start exporting other things than cheap, unskilled labour.

      And no I do not trust any government, I trust people. People should constantly monitor their elected representatives.
      V4 countries?

      Ana Antonio Automation will lead to new professions, just as the steam-engine did.

  48. avatar
    Ether Traveler

    Resource Based Economy -Please!
    NO monetary/Electronic money system!

    Break your brains synapses, thereabout, people!

    However, 《The Venus Project》has already an idea -Dig it!
    Anyone else?

  49. avatar
    Francesco Dondi

    NO, of course, it would be suicidal.

    I’m in favour of a city-based minimum wage, region-based at the very most.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Over here, in the Netherlands, we have a country-wide minimum wage. Maybe it works because we aren’t the biggest member of the EU, but it works :)

    • avatar
      Francesco Dondi

      Netherlands is the order of magnitude of one region in my book :D

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Hmm… 16 million Dutchmen disagree with you on this… ;)

    • avatar
      Francesco Dondi

      It has the population of three big Italian regions and the area of two of. Order of magnitude checks 😇

  50. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    If there will be one, it will be at the Bulgarian level..

    Study some economics.
    In the economy everything is connected to everything else and a significant administrative wage increase will just let inflation loose in the impacted countries, making the value of savings disappear, increasing their interest rates.

    But the impact would increase the value of gold and other commodities, so the wealthiest can get more wealthy. :D

  51. avatar
    Matej Mlinarič

    That is not how businesses work. What employees get paid is carefully calculated so that business create sufficient revenue for sustainability. So by forcing increase in minimal wage you effective force some businesses to either fire some of its staff or risk losing that business. That effectively creates zero interests to train new workforce. Cause it would just be too expensive to prepare them and that hurts everybody that is looking to start a career.

  52. avatar
    Lonzo Bildelberg

    it’s the only way to go forward with the increase in automatized jobs

    edit: unless you want to live in the post-capitalist dystopia where after the rich have exploited the masses for centuries, they finally develop robots that can provide them with everything, and so they lay off the workers to starve to death. Possibly repressing said workers with robot violence when they protest the lack of possibility of survival

    • avatar
      Ana Antonio

      Yep. It will be this way or death.

  53. avatar
    Bernard Bakker

    Yes, all Europeans should have the right to earn a living wage. But these minimum wages should be indexed per country, so that every European, earning a minimum wage, gets the same purchasing power(!) in each country.

    For the record: I am a small business owner and I strongly believe in paying decent wages for decent work. I do not hire monkeys so I do not pay my employees peanuts.

  54. avatar
    Dan Thelord Ilow

    It is not possible. Countries are different. We could do something like this if we were a federation,all the states under one flag and government. Until then, you cannot expect a minimum wage in Eastern Europe to be the same with a minimum wage in Western Europe.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      But what if we take these differences into account, garantueeing everyone a wage which covers the costs of housing, food, education and health? OK, this minimum wage will be higher in Denmark than in Bulgaria. But At least a roof over our heads a meal on our table, education for our children and access to healthcare is available to us all.

    • avatar
      Dan Thelord Ilow

      This is perfect :) . But I think we already have this…I mean I think each country has its minimum wage system,from Bulgaria to Norway. It does not work for poorer countries, however. My country also has this kind of system but poverty is not eradicated yet.

    • avatar
      Despina Makrygianny

      The perfect would be:the Western Europe to have the wages of Eastern Europe!!and Greece wages 🤣😂..

    • avatar
      Dobromir Georgiev

      Even then it is not possible. Look at the US. They are a federation and have different min. wages in each state.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Dobromir Georgiev in my view the wages should be different, but all should garantuee a the same standard of living.

  55. avatar
    George Frehden

    Wage is based on productivity, including social productivity! So is no reason to ignore the diffrence between working results ,economics results within EU members, even within the same country!

  56. avatar
    Γουλιέλμος Μαργκερον

    Yes, definitely, not at once, but we could start with all countries raising their minimum wage and at some point, arriving at the same level (in 15 years) with the same cost of life. We also should think about a maximum wage. Winning more than a million a year when others surviving with 300€/months (by working like in greece) it’s definitaly not fair !

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Do you mean a maximum wage for employees? Or a 100 percent tax on earnings above a certain level? The latter will be detrimental for entrepreneurship (entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, not directors of enterprises, who aren’t entrepreneurs but employees).

      10/01/2018 Luke Hildyard, Executive Director at the High Pay Centre, has responded to this comment.

      10/01/2018 Kevin J. Murphy, Professor at the University of Southern California, has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      And I agree, the people of Greece are being treated unfairly

    • avatar
      Dobromir Georgiev

      Boo hoo! Poor Greeks! No one owes you nothing. People in my country live on half as much and we still keep our deficit in somehow manageable levels.

    • avatar
      Bernard Bakker

      Dobromir Georgiev Shall we keep it somewhat civilized?

  57. avatar
    Ruairí Hallissey

    Unifying our currencies has already been an unmitigated disaster. Do you want the EU to collapse? A countries like Poland or Greece being forced to have same minimum wage as a country like Luxembourg would destroy those countries ability to compete.

  58. avatar
    Maricela Potoc

    Yes!!! There is no way a factory worker, a merchandiser or a security guard doing exactly the same job in Germany or France be 10x more productive than a worker in Romania. We should be paid more!

  59. avatar
    Tiromanzino May

    There must be a minimum wage but not only for EU members, also for countries trading with EU, otherwise you are destroying internal industry and jobs.

  60. avatar
    Andrew Potts

    There should be a max wage, only if it’s society just saying that’s enough to have a home a few kids and live. Because the top management often think they are worth far more then they are

  61. avatar
    David K

    So long as you normalize the minimum wage against a cost of living index, why not? Essentially this is what’s happening in the US, as states and municipalities are implementing their own minimum wages. This is far superior to a ‘one-size-fit- no-one’ approach that most countries implement. In fact, I’d go one further and suggest that it be implemented at a postal code level based on where the worker is working. While this would have been unimaginable a few years ago, implementing this with today’s technology would be trivial.

  62. avatar
    Lynne Warner

    Under this concept, more people will lose jobs, service will fail and it is a great set-up for abuse of staff.

  63. avatar
    Micheál Murphy

    The income gap between the richest and poorest EZ countries is 4 times income. A minimum wage as % of average income may work. But different countries have different economic profiles. Eastern European countries in the German supply chain need to be supply side because they are net exporters.

  64. avatar
    Stef Kostov

    So many people here give their uninformed opinions in the comments, i wonder is it that hard to read a thing or two about economics..

  65. avatar
    Jerzy Zajączkowski

    Placement of workplaces in Europe is not uniform. This causes migrations of workers to places where they can find a job. Lower wages in countries where there are few jobs will increase investment and job growth. In this way equalization of employment and wages in Europe will take place.

  66. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Some of the EU countries do need an update on their minimum wage. There is also living costs to be considered. I been living around central Europe for a while, and mostly minimum wages are ok in relation to living costs of those countries. It would be impossible to make it even tho, I don’t think most countries could pay for a minimum wage that is above 1000 euros. I know for exemple in Romania a minimum wage goes for 250 euros, is a small business that doesn’t have profits in millions, supposed to start paying employees 1000 or more euros? It’s not reasonable. Maybe just try and regulate the minimum wages that are in placement now for each country separately, after a living cost evaluation.

  67. avatar
    Charles Graham

    there should not be one, thaT ultimately deal a death blow to an otherwise strong currency don’t the mistake that USA is making.. when government gets in the way it creates a drunk model of collapsing the end of free market setting the rate on its own Peter Schiff

  68. avatar
    Cris P

    But before we start, everyone must understand some concepts: of unconditional solidarity, technological development trends with regard to automatisation and connected to that, the real value of work.
    Some benefits from UBI are significant reduction in healthcare costs for participants especially IC visits and mental healthcare (avg -7.4%), improvement in both child and adult education (+12% study completion) and of course, eliminating the stigma of applying for social services.

    Besides this, a shift in mentality about one’s motivation to work is required to go from “Most workers do not want responsibilities, lack ambition, and value job security more than anything else.” to ” employees can view work as natural, are creative, can be self-motivated, and appreciate responsibility.”

    On the automatization page, a warehouse where 15 years ago it would take 40+ employees to move the inventory is served today by a system of automatized machine system controlled by only 5 employees, including a manager. Soon almost all “white collar jobs” will disappear, because it costs less to implement an algorithm than to employ a person who will do the job in 10 times longer, has maybe a sick family member to take care of and maybe some student loans to pay for another 15 years. And it’s not just heavy-lifting warehouse jobs that will dissapear. The trend is obvious in accountancy, commercial operational, transport, healthcare, finances, farming, infrastructure, administative and even IT.
    What word would you like to live in?

  69. avatar
    Hugo Dias

    No. The wages should reflect the ratio between demand and offer. If you think you need a minimum wage is because the people is lack in expertise and require a lot of repetitive jobs.

  70. avatar
    Glen Sweeney

    Maybe a maximum wage and everybody paying their taxes would be a better discussion and starting point.

  71. avatar
    Sorin Argint

    This is the romanian way and the results are:
    1. Work is history
    2. More poverty ( for those who work too )

  72. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Since immigration obviously has a big effect on inequality within country like the EU it would seem that these economists are thoroughly dishonest if they make a point of ignoring the effects of immigration I am European citizen I´d like as many of my fellow citizens as possible to have a shot at a decent life has long as they´re willing to work and to not be too irresponsible even if they´re unskilled and/or stupid Bringingin millions of unskilled immigrants is harmful to the vast majority of European citizens

  73. avatar
    Rock The Revolutionary

    Entire nations are plunged into disaster. Entire social classes are sentenced to extreme poverty. Families are torn apart. People are left destitute. Young people are turning to drugs. Crime rates sore. People are committing suicide. When the way an economy functions brings such tragic results we are not talking about an economy any more but war. We are not talking about real competition but premeditated murder. Given that the entire situation is a result of the decisions made by some people, it is only natural that we can talk about crimes against humanity.We want to escape out of poverty. We want collaborationist politicians, corrupt government officials, robbers intertwined bankers and usurers to go to jail . We want those who ” bleed ” the people to ” bleed ” . , Those who laughed against them, to cry . We want back our country’s . We want back our lives. ……… The three aims of the tyrant. These are, (1) the humiliation of his subjects; he knows that a mean-spirited man will not conspire against anybody; (2) the creation of mistrust among them; for a tyrant is not overthrown until men begin to have confidence in one another; and this is the reason why tyrants are at war with the good; they are under the idea that their power is endangered by them, not only because they would not be ruled despotically but also because they are loyal to one another, and to other men, and do not inform against one another or against other men; (3) the tyrant desires that his subjects shall be incapable of action, for no one attempts what is impossible, and they will not attempt to overthrow a tyranny, if they are powerless. Under these three heads the whole policy of a tyrant may be summed up, and to one or other of them all his ideas may be referred: (1) he sows distrust among his subjects; (2) he takes away their power; (3) he humbles them. Aristotle : The rule of law is the principle that no one is exempt from the law, even those who are in a position of power. The rule of law can serve as a safeguard against tyranny, because just laws ensure that rulers do not become corrupt. Aristotle

  74. avatar
    Magaly Morales

    It should be one. That would stop unscrupulous workers and employment agencies from exploiting and abusing workers and driving salaries down. It will also stop people from going against the EU and Free Movement.

  75. avatar
    Yannick Cornet

    No, there should be a universal basic income. The planet would get a welcome break from overconsumption and general plundering if less of us worked.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      So less people working means those who do work, have to do more, UBI doesn’t grow on trees

  76. avatar
    Ingrida Marciulaityte

    Definitely, should be :)

    • avatar
      Costi Ciudin

      exactly, one can not expect that my country (Romania), or Bulgaria or even Greece (which is still offering better wages than these two, despite the difficulties) will get very soon to offer the same minimum wage as Germany or France

  77. avatar
    Costi Ciudin

    in theory, it would be great, in practice I can not see how it would be possible

  78. avatar
    Paweł Kunio

    The economies of eu vary too widely for such bill be enfircable without killing economies of countries with smaller gdp pc.

    • avatar
      Arber Kukaj

      Lmao how would it devalue currency when prices haven’t kept up with wages? Secondly immigration politics hasn’t anything to do with the article, but even if you were to distantly link it, a minimum wage would raise what employers can pay people, even if it’s under the books.

    • avatar
      Uli Czeranka

      You are one of those who link everything to refugees right? What about that a minimum wage could result in common asylum standards? Or at least put pressure away from the richer countries?

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      If you get currency for free, than it looses the value. If you open that system and overpopulate with people who do not contribute …you get selfdestruction. Only 3% of migrants want to work.

  79. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    And the National Socialist dream is alive and well in the EU, idiotic idea so beloved by people who have no idea how the economy works.

    • avatar
      Jez Boulton

      Relax. It’s just a question. Yes or No will do😉

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Morther Forkker Evening troll.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Jez Boulton Where did ‘No’ to being ruled over by the unelected again get you ?

  80. avatar
    Adnan Soysal

    those who never gave a single penny as salary to anyone are discussing state enforced salary.
    comedy + tragedy

    • avatar
      Mika Nowack

      People will use this money in shops so it would sustain the economy.

    • avatar
      Paul Vincent

      Mika, thats an alchemist version of economics, you cant create wealth out of thin air or printing money & giving it away. Which is why suggestions of universal basic income is like bitcoins.. superficially attractive…but built on sand

  81. avatar
    David Fernandes Coelho

    Yes their should be and the polititions salaries should be indexed to the minimum salary of each country to try and stop corruption.

  82. avatar
    Michele Marco Paolella

    We can’t leave free market to take care of life o millions, EU united will have power to take care of the workers. Leave the right wingers bark their stuff.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      100 years of left wing ideology has lead to 100 million dead, you are in no position to criticise the right.

    • avatar
      Michele Marco Paolella

      Ahahahah! Do you read the black book of communism and think that it is true? I suggest the black book of capitalism then.. Which lead nearly 400 million of dead

    • avatar
      Michele Marco Paolella

      Hahaha ha most of the African countries and third world countries use capitalist economy.. And the best you can do is show anti-lefty post.. Wow!

  83. avatar
    Theile, Ludwig

    les nouveau member de l’est sont entrain de remonter leurs economies après des décennies d’occupation de la deuxième generation “socialistes a priorité nationales” a la base avec des concepts dictatorial. Modernise une Economie, après un tel cataclysme, est la adapte au nouvelles donnez moderne, demande un effort énorme des toutes les parties concerne.

  84. avatar
    Ludwig Theile

    les nouveaux members des l’est sont entrain de remonter leurs economies après des décennies d’occupation de la deuxième generation “socialistes a priorité nationales” a la base avec des concepts dictatorial. Modernise une Economie, après un tel cataclysme, est la adapte au nouvelles donnez moderne, demande un effort énorme des toutes les parties concerne.

  85. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    EU politicians salaries should be lower. Example, Spanish, portuguese, Greek citizens make less than 1000€ per month. You could hardly see this salary in Spain after the so called financial crisis. Yet their EU reps make over 15000€ per month. Make more in one month of not even work, than a citizen makes in a year.

    • avatar
      Diaconu George Razvan

      and they should , it’s a very bad idea to put someone there and then give them these huge responsibilities with huge impact , and then literally make bribe so much attractive for them.sorry but their job is not menial!

    • avatar
      Tony Muñiz

      Yes, MEP’s jobs are menial. So much so tah some from my country were just going to clock in, collect and come back. And some even fall asleep on their chairs. Trust me, their job is cake! And their salary is way too high.

  86. avatar
    Leopold Rotim

    European minimum wage? So Are you for poverty, especially when we talk about low skill occupations?

    • avatar
      Mika Nowack

      No. Xd sorry but my efforts and my brain still worths better than laziness and mediocrity. A wage for everybody does not mean egalitarism. Just the end of misery.

    • avatar
      Kiriakos Karasakalidis


  87. avatar
    あり ありな

    Yes, and they should also criminalize low wage employers! This is bonded labour & slavery. The EU needs a Modern Slavery law to protect people’s rights!

  88. avatar
    Simeon Milanov

    Yes, definetly! If you want to have even more unemployed people, then having a European minimum wage is a great way to do it. And it will kill also a lot of businesses which I suppose is a good thing since we are building USSR 2.0., right?

  89. avatar
    Antoine Che

    You wouldn’t have to put a minimum wage if there was a high universal income because you would have to offer a decent salary if you wanted to hire somebody… (if you block immigration from other countries)…

  90. avatar
    Любомир Иванчев

    No. This will have a serious negative impact on EU member states with lower standards of living. It will destroy some of the small and family businesses there because they won’t be able to afford to pay higher wages. It will also bring higher inflation because those companies who will be able to afford these costs will compensate them from their prices in order to maintain their revenue.

  91. avatar
    Thomas Beavitt

    No, that would be absurd because businesses cannot continue to operate unless they are profitable. However, there should be a universal basic income funded by the printing of euros and there should be housing legislation either capping rents to those affordable to those in receipt of UBI only or taking housing into public ownership (or both).

    With UBI, the “gig economy” will morph into the “hobby economy”. Essential services will be carried out by immigrants and those citizens who are saving up for a wedding, a car or a holiday.

  92. avatar
    Freja Holst

    A change for the better concerning the cheap labor practices in Eastern Europe is definetly needed, but an international minimum wage isn’t the solution. First of all the different economies across Europe makes a common minimum wage almost impossible, and in some cases even harmful. And comparing this to an UBI is incorrect, because an UBI is enabler for the employer to exploit workers, and an UBI would also change fire/hire policies.

  93. avatar
    Luigi Fre

    Yes, make it high enough so nobody has to work forced labour anymore.

  94. avatar

    Im from Lithuania and I can easily say that this country face high level of emigration as wages are double lower than in biggest countries such as UK, France. Situation is getting better, as we get a lot of international investments which means, that young and talented have good chances to work in global companies such as Nasdaq, Western Union even if they do not offer competitie wages comparing with other countries. If someone interested there is full list of companies that are running different type of operations here in Lithuania: I am just not sure if companies will stay in this country for good, as labour costs are increasing slowly but stable, so companies might choose cheaper countries such as Bulgaria or Romenia. There is chart of labour costs in Lithuania: someone interested you can find all aspects why Lithuania is really attractiveglobal players here:

  95. avatar

    Of course uncontrolled mass immigration of mainly cheap labour will make the British work worthless. It’s the simple supply and demand rules. The more you have the cheaper it is. Also the minimum wage has become the maximum wage. It’s a disgrace. Another reason we should never have joined the EU. We never needed it and we never will.

    • avatar

      Because we should get even more exploited by the bosses?

    • avatar

      Minimum wage may actually increase poverty, because it actually increases unemployment.

  96. avatar

    We prefer local production indepedance VS hanging from someones balls.

  97. avatar

    Europe needs a central government and has to establish equal conditions for all members

  98. avatar

    No, but each country should have a minimum wage and this should be tied to inflation to protect purchasing power of the citizenry.

    How can we have a “European minimum wage” when some states have much more developed economies than others? Imagine. €9.5 (French) minimum wage in Bulgaria.

    In my native USA we have a minimum wage of $7.25 which could make sense in some states like Montana or Nebraska but is next to worthless in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, let alone my hometown, New York.

    • avatar

      The minimum wage in Bulgaria is 1.55 EUR/h.

    • avatar

      Dobromir Precisely…

  99. avatar

    Yes without a doubt, it will drive down wagers, drive up costs for business & reduce competitiveness within the EU and the free world will take full advantage of the idiotic policy. :)

  100. avatar

    I agree but it depending by state to state ; I can see a big deal of distinction between a salary minimum per hour owns by a Bulgaria , it’s less than in Italy , and a salary make by a Denmark which standard involved the so-called “SOCIALE , it’s up to over €30 per hour .
    So far things are going on : the rich gets more rich , and poor gets more poor.

  101. avatar

    Look at the danish model – no minimum wage but strong social unions that guarantees worker protection and rights. Much better than politician interference

  102. avatar

    In every State should be a minimum wage. But every State has to have its minimum wage. 5 euros in Germany is not like 5 euros in Greece.

  103. avatar

    Absolutely yes, and benefits. The EU focuses too much on benefiting corporations and trade at the expense of the people. The people don’t factor into EU policy. It is time it does.

  104. avatar

    Europe can stop poverty by not stealing from the nation states of EE, like for example GREECE. Europe has looted Greece and enslaved the people for 100 years!!! You are not a UNITED Europe, you are a UNITED CRIMINAL GANG.

  105. avatar

    Before that keep the borders and the deals European countries have in bettween Them,tell the people how much Oil and gas there is in greece, explain whygreece stil the same after they follow what Europe told Them, say to germany to payback for the war crimes, say to germany to deliver all the people that give money togreek politishians but they give Them immunitet !!!

    • avatar

      Why should the German tax payer pay you 7 Euros an hour ?

  106. avatar

    Wait, on the picture message is to make poverty history, and in question you ask should we have EU minimum wages, but minimum wages increase poverty. I’m confused with what you want.

    • avatar

      Because they know a minimum wage would destroy their economies. If the Northern European companies had to pay the same wagers at the Eastern European factories as they do at home there would be no reason to have the factories in the East. Basic economics.

    • avatar

      Because it would sky rocket unemployment over night. How can a Romanian company afford to pay it’s workers the same as Dutch one?

  107. avatar

    No, it will destroy any economy in the not so affluent countries.

  108. avatar

    Yes. Otherwise no one will be left in Eastern Europe except old ppl

    • avatar

      That’s the plan which is why they don’t want an EU wide minimum wage, Northern Europe just wants your young skilled workers, not your sick or old people. Eastern Europe is just a labour force for the North.

  109. avatar

    The same minimum for Belgium and Denmark as Romania and Greece? Are you having a laugh? Do we not f*** the non Western European countries with out monetary policy enough as it is?

  110. avatar

    It all depends from the state and managing with funds. Ex. two persons divide equally 2000000 E, with 1000000 EUR for each but one of the them is managing more wisely with money than the other, he increases his funds the other decreases, this means Bad managing it is same and with countries.

  111. avatar

    It is enough to have basic economy knowledge to know that it is impossibly. How much people earn in particular country depends mostly on how rich the country is( how much of the capital is there) . If in the poor country the minimum wage was increased to the level of the rich country it would create an inflation and money would be worth less) exactly same effect like printing more money. There were this kind of experiments in past in the south American dictatorships which ended up with disaster. The only way to make things better is solidarity of all EU members and helping developing countries to develop more for mutual benefits.

  112. avatar

    Yes and enough for a decent living .Urgenty

  113. avatar

    No, it’s the same mistake then the EUR. If you make a European minimum wage that cater all regions poorer regions cannot compete anymore with richer regions.

  114. avatar

    Just a big words ! Let’s see the spending books of EU bureaucrats elite

  115. avatar

    Yes. Minimum wage guarantees that your employer will actually pay you something.

  116. avatar

    A common European wage is impossibile, because there is no common Europe and no equality of their single countries so far .

  117. avatar

    Impossible without completely unifying economy to the point of losing any independence of individual countries (and even then it wouldnt work- i mean look at any country, you are bound to find some wealth disparity between regions). And that is a bad thing- sorry, but people from large countries dont understand how important independence is especially for small nations (i am for co-operation, however i am against any idea that ultimately takes independence from countries).
    But back on topic- why it would require complete unification of economy should be obvious. And i dont mean just wages, i also mean prices, taxes and pretty much everything with money involved.

  118. avatar

    Do you want to be more communist than the communists of China? Even they have some variation of the minimum wage between the provinces.

  119. avatar

    Yes, that is a great way to stop Western European businesses from moving to Eastern Europe.

  120. avatar

    No, each country have a different standart of life and what for one can be good for another may be short.

  121. avatar

    Why does Debating Europe keep asking questions, the answers to which are all NO?

  122. avatar

    They can implement minimum wage or anything they want but the EU will’s becoming a bureaucrats dictatorship and the economy is crumbling…maybe the EU was the price for the Marshall Plan, an area with a single currency where America’s wall street can play with doing profits while destroying competition for their companies…

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