European & International News

European Parliament backs plans for European minimum wage

[Brussels, 17 November 2011] According to reports in the Parliament Magazine, MEPs have adopted a motion calling for a Europe-wide minimum wage. Read the article below by Martin Banks.

European Parliament backs plans for European minimum wage

Parliament has approved controversial plans to investigate the possibility of creating a legally-enforceable Europe-wide minimum income.

The move, agreed by MEPs at Tuesday’s plenary session in Strasbourg, would also seek to classify poverty as a ’violation’ of human rights.

The motion, proposed by Belgian MEP Frederic Daerden, also aims to create a series of "poverty awareness seminars" across Europe.

In a move described by some centre-right members as "well-meaning but naive", the motion was voted through with the support of Socialist and Liberal MEPs.

The Daerden motion declares in its preamble, "Poverty can be classed as a violation of human rights."

It goes on to demand the creation by the EU of a regular, critical evaluation-mechanism to judge each member state’s "progress in reducing poverty and social exclusion", and an annual report to be compiled on how all EU countries measure up.

Where it is perceived too little is being done, it says the European commission should hand national governments "country-specific" action plans, the motion stipulates.

It also "deplores" commission proposals to next year reduce EU spending - which currently stands at €113.5m - on food parcels for the poor.

And it calls for extra spending on state benefits across Europe for people with long-term illness or disability, for single parents and for families with ’many’ children.

In addition, the motion calls for a convention on poverty and social exclusion, lasting at least a week, to take place every year in different venues across Europe.

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