- Ana Navarro Bullo
[euractiv] Once again, shall we agree to disagree?
The second round of debate has focused on the establishment of a common minimum wage across the EU, leaving the UBI and the regulation of the GIG economy for further discussion later in the conference. Essentially, The Greens, Renew Europe, PiS and Vox have so far monopolized the attention. Along two lines of argumentation, the right wing of the Parliament has advocated against an EU-level common minimum wage while the center and left expressed an opposite stance. Disagreement is somehow needed for better and more consensus-based decisions to be taken. Where delegates place their limits to disagree is the challenging scene of the show.
Walking towards compromise, the Renaissance delegate under the Renew Europe parliamentary group proposed an amendment to the proposals’ common minimum wage standard of six euros per hour to establish a common framework of decent living standards to which Member States subscribe by deciding individually the means they will use in order to ensure such standards. Socialists and Democrats as well as GroenLinks supported the proposed amendment adding that a EU-level research initiative regarding living standards would be essential before implementing any measures agreed by the MEPs.
All in all, ‘decent living standards’ remain too much of a vague idea. Some of the MEPs, mainly on the right side of the hemicycle, fear that such standards might be based solely on Western Member States’ patterns and fail to consider each country’s unique economic and social circumstances, often the root of income discrepancies across EU countries and the resulting disagreement among diplomats in the Parliament.