The self-satisfaction of the communication around the Social Summit of Gothenburg made me quite angry. It was unfortunately a new episode of this endless and pathetic series of an Europe which pretends to act and just gossips. For once I quite agree with Melanchon on the title of his blog post: the joke goes on.
And we do not have any time left for joke. This further dangerously undermines the credibility of this pitiful European architecture. To use the excellent expression of Ulrike Guérot this contributes to the further weimarization of the European Union. A lot of gestures but no grip on reality. No solution to the urgent needs of a population which becomes desperate. A shocking buzz covering a shocking vacuum.
We heard so many ridiculous qualifiers, (historic, key landmark, …) to designate this European Pillar of Social Rights, which is just the listing of 20 evident social rights, already very much present in the European Social Charter signed at Turin on 18 October 1961 and in the 1989 Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers. Not to mention the Title X (Social Policy) of the consolidate version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (Lisbon), which by the way created a European Social Fund (Title XI). Then please nice Great Princes Electors stop going around in circle with delight and complacency, and just act!
I was really angry. I considered this as an insult to those trying to give more credibility to Europe at a time where populists want to destroy it. And naturally an unforgivable insult to those everywhere in Europe who really suffer in their poor social condition today. This is really the Europe which I hate and that we need to re-found.
Then I watched the short press conference given by Macron at Gothenburg . And then we suddenly and very fortunately totally change perspectives.
Macron starts by mentioning that after the amendment of the Directive on Posted Workers (signed on October 23), France already signed 8 bilateral agreements, including with Poland and Romania, in order to quickly implement this amendment.
Macron wants Europe to work on a social convergence with a 10-year-agenda. The definition of a minimum pay should belong to this agenda. Today 22 of the 28 countries of the EU have already a minimum wage, however in 10 of them the minimum pay does not reach 50% of the national average pay. The purpose is not here to define the same minimum pay in amount, but maybe common ratios.
Macron wants also to integrate the respect of some social and fiscal criteria to condition the disbursement of the European Cohesion Funds. Today some countries use these funds to subsidize national tax or social optimization systems… Which is totally not acceptable.
We really need to urgently consolidate Macron’s position in Europe, in order to put an end to this intergovernmental paralysis, which insults the European people and deprive us from our European Sovereignty.