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!