At the European Summit meeting on 14 & 15 March 2013 heads of states and government will address ways to restore the stability of the European economy by tapping new sources of growth and jobs. Industry has been identified to play a major role in this plan. As is stated in the recently published Communication “A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery” the EU must provide the right framework conditions capable of attracting companies to invest in Europe leading to maintaining and ideally creating good quality jobs in industry.
Whilst this statement is welcomed, interfering with national systems and wage setting mechanisms would send the opposite signal. The Euro Plus Pact and its macro-economic imbalances procedure give rise to concerns that, in addition to monitoring of wage related developments in a European context, there will be interferences (“corrective arm”) in matters related to national wage setting mechanisms. Amongst others, such interventions would risk ignoring social partners’ autonomy, putting the competitiveness of manufacturing and the balance of wage setting between trade unions/workers and employers into peril.
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