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Töötasustandardid ELis

Opinion Number: CDR 1689/2015
Rapporteur: ANTONIW Mick
Commission: SEDEC
Status: Adopted
Date: 03/12/2015
points out that responsibility for employment and social policy lies primarily with national or regional governments, that the EU has a coordinating competence in this area, and that any EU initiative on European wage standards must respect the principle of subsidiarity.
considers that the democratic legitimacy of the European Union will be strengthened if Europe’s citizens recognise that social progress is also being addressed when employment and social dimension are fully integrated into the yearly cycle of economic policy coordination (the European Semester), alongside the promotion of growth.
welcomes the fact that most EU Member States have minimum wage regimes which are either established by law or agreed through collective bargaining. Authority and responsibility for matters relating to wage-setting rest with the Member States and/or national social partners. The autonomy of the social partners and their right to conclude collective wage agreements must therefore be fully respected
The opinion for "Standards of remuneration in employment in the EU" draws attention to the fact that the Europe 2020 poverty reduction target seems to be compromised and will have to be revisited when the Europe 2020 process is next reviewed, as the number of people at risk of poverty increased from 114 million in 2009 to 124 million in 2012.
The opinoin also acknowledges the key role of collective bargaining in setting minimum wages but points out that in many sectors and SMEs, sectoral agreements do not exist and that therefore some workers are excluded. The CoR calls upon the national social partners to strengthen social dialogue at national, regional and local level.

- affirms that poverty and social exclusion impede a decent existence, thus undermining people's fundamental rights and suggests that all Member States should ensure a decent existence for people - for instance by providing the services needed to secure a decent living for them – and should pursue policies, especially labour market and social policies, that ensure fair wages over the working life cycle;

- emphasises the urgency of this issue given that poverty and social inequalities have worsened since the economic crisis in the EU, and that subsequent austerity-only policies have exacerbated the problem; the numbers at risk of poverty have increased, with women and children particularly affected;

- maintains therefore that Member States should be encouraged to adopt an indicative fair wage, geared towards the use of 60% of the median wage as a benchmark, and based on reference budgets, which are a package of goods and services an individual needs to live at a decent level, together with a set of equitable terms and conditions of employment;

- believes that further debate in this area could in particular be based on Articles 9 and 156 of the TFEU and should, to ensure respect for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, take place through soft processes such as the Open Method of Coordination and as part of the European Semester, which has already addressed wage issues;

- further argues that fair wages as an economic factor could also be addressed in Country Specific Recommendations, which already include wage-setting in the area of the labour market and also address wage moderation;

- encourages EU local and regional authorities to take the lead, in their capacity as employers, and work towards ensuring fair wages for their employees and calls for the exchange of best practices at EU level.
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