- The long-term survival of the European Union depends on eradicating the current wage gap between eastern and western member states - according to leading speakers at the "Equal pay for equal work" conference in Brusselson Monday.
Distinguished economists, business leaders and labour representatives discussed the causes and consequences of the enormous wage differences between the member states today. They believe the current situation is unsustainable, counter to the long-term interests of all countries within the EU and ultimately a threat to the very survival of the Union.
Participants said the huge difference in wage levels between the Western and Eastern countries of the Union is the primary cause of mass migration to the richer, Western EU countries. This loss of human resources - or 'brain drain' - is a serious impediment to the future development of the eastern states, which is causing long-term damage to these countries that would eventually provoke political instability. The conference declared that wage equalisation must become one of the fundamental objectives of the European community, to be realised according to a realistic time framework.
The European Citizens' Initiative "WageUnion" was launched in March 2017 by individuals with a view to the European Commission taking the necessary steps to incorporate the issue of wage consolidation of the newly acceded member states into the statutes of the European Union.
Several European countries have joined the initiative - Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Poland, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia - and set up an eight-member Citizens' Committee to issue a motion to the EC. The Commission endorsed the WageUnion initiative in May 2017, meaning the next step requires a minimum of one million EU citizens signing up to support the initiative in at least seven EU member states. Then the Commission will put the matter on the agenda and the organizers will be given the opportunity to present their initiative at the European Parliament.
The EU can and should be a partner in the creation of a project to establish wage parity, as evidenced by the annual evaluation of the Union by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, last September. As the president said, "East to West: Europe must breathe with both lungs. Otherwise our continent will struggle for air. In a Union of equals, there can be no second-class citizens."
More information: http://www.wageunion.eu
di Carlantonio Solimene
di Luigi Bisignani
di Marcello Veneziani
di Luigi Salomone
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