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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Euractiv] European Parliament and Council’s marriage story

Affection is usually defined as the feeling of liking something. Someone or somewhere. Affection could be a good word to define the dynamics during the EU interinstitutional negotiations. That’d be almost as good as making Russia pay for the universal basic income (UBI) of European countries, as the Czech MEPs naively suggested. Yet, the coming together of EU institutions is not that easy, making trilogues’ success a bit of hard reality.

Common minimum wage is still the most debated sphere of the Commission’s proposal presented on Thursday, May 5. Both the UBI and the regulation of the GIG economy have occupied little of the delegates’ time in the multiple discussions led this morning. The EP reached a surprising consensus among left, center and right-wing MEPs on establishing living standards goals for the EU to which each country can work for without the need to squeeze their economic capabilities with a common minimum wage only comfortable for Western Member States.

To this, the Council cleared its throat. ‘Lack of ambition’ is what the Portuguese PM pointed out as the problem of the EP. The Council proposed a 60% threshold adapted to every country’s average wage as a better legislative way to raise EU living standards, as explained by the Austrian delegate. Vox did vociferate passionately that this would still not fit each countries’ needs minutes before the Romanian MEP stood up and gave a rhetoric performance far from your seat on why Dutch farmers’ income cannot relate to that of Romanian farmers’.

Everyone in the room claims to represent the European people but no one seems to share the same understanding regarding who the European people are. Maybe redefining interinstitutional affection would be a nice ice-breaking exercise for the next trilogue.

- Harry Azcrac, Euractiv


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