The campaign for the European Wage Union can be considered a success for several reasons

Coming to Budapest for a final meeting on Friday, the international members of the Citizens’ Committee officially closed the campaign for gathering statements of support and evaluated the results of the collection of signatures which lasted from last March to May this year.

Launched on 14 March 2017, the goal of the European Citizens’ Initiative for a Wage Union was to raise awareness of the grave gap between the economic status and living standards of certain EU Member States. It would have required the collection of one million statements of support to allow the motion to be submitted to the European Parliament and the European Commission. Although only 550 thousand signatures were collected altogether, the initiators evaluated the campaign as a success for several reasons.

The final meeting was held in Budapest and attended by party and union representatives as well as private citizens from Croatia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia. Although the organizers encountered similar obstacles in the different countries (they typically experienced opposing political interests and financial difficulties), they all agreed that the balance of the campaign showed positive factors as well. Comparing their initiative to the Minority SafePack, their conclusion was that the pro-minority project did collect one million signatures but it still had not shown any demonstrative effect while the wage union initiative managed to exert a significant impact both at national and international levels.

The Committee’s Hungarian representative Márton Gyöngyösi emphasized that the principle of “equal pay for equal work” had become part of the public political discourse in several participating countries. Although they could not achieve structural changes, and the Hungarian government kept building the economy on cheap labour, payrises have taken place in certain sectors. He also noted the international impacts, including the fact that their slogan has literally been adopted by the European national consultation on the EU’s future, so the Union may potentially consider the goal of the Wage Union initiative as one of its new guidelines for the future.

“As influencers of the public discourse, we would like to continue our struggle for a fairer, safer and more predictable European Union. We are greatly encouraged by the fact that more and more people recognize the need for urgent reforms. Our goal is to seek real answers and solutions for the issues and problems of European people rather than let populist politicians conduct fake debates,”
 - the members of the committee announced in a joint declaration after the meeting, and urged everyone to fill out the consultation form of the European Commission.

The Citizens’ Committee of the Initiative for a European Wage Union has officially concluded its work and destroys all the collected personal data and signed statement of support forms in line with the effective legal regulations.


Alfahí -