The European Commission wants all EU member states to introduce minimum wages and incomes for their workers and unemployed, the head of the EU executive president said on Monday, in an effort to combat growing social inequality and poverty.
The Commission, which has limited powers in the area of social policy, is preparing an overhaul of the EU’s functions and targets and wants it to include tackling social and economic injustices that have often been successfully exploited by right-wing eurosceptic parties across the 28-nation bloc.
“There should be a minimum salary in each country of the European Union,” Jean-Claude Juncker told a conference on social rights in Brussels, adding that those seeking work should also have a guaranteed minimum level of income.
Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg, said each state should be free to set its own minimum wage, but added: “There is a level of dignity we have to respect.”
Living standards and costs vary widely across the EU, and some parts of the EU, especially in southern Europe, are suffering very high levels of unemployment.
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