In its Tuesday’s plenary session, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) had a debate on the report called “The struggle against wage inequalities as a means to promote social cohesion and economic development”. Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi also held a speech in the discussion.
The Jobbik-delegated member of the CoE said that while it was indeed important to develop national strategies to eliminate wage inequalities, especially including changes in such areas as taxation, minimum wage levels, labour codes and trade union regulations, it is also vital to address this issue in the framework of a regional or even all-European cooperation.
Due to the economic liberalization of the past decades, the economies of EU member states have become open and integrated, which had a disastrous impact in certain regions.
Márton Gyöngyösi explained that the post-Socialist countries of Eastern Central Europe expected the investment projects of Western multinational companies, which were attracted to these states by way of low wages, preferential corporate taxes and state subsidies, to help them converge to the West, which was an illusion and self-deception.
As Mr Gyöngyösi put it: instead of leading to integration, the process had the opposite result: millions of citizens, especially young skilled professionals emigrated to the West, while the ones remaining behind got impoverished and indebted. Although the European Union does have a cohesion policy specifically aiming to promote integration, the billions allocated to this purpose are not invested into the development of human resources and the improvement of living standards, i.e., a true integration. Instead, the money is spent on useless and costly infrastructural projects that often function as a hotbed for corruption.
After that, Jobbik’s MP talked about the European Citizens’ Initiative launched by the cooperation of eight Eastern Central European countries, which would mean a real solution and manage the problem at EU level.
The representatives of eight countries, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Estonia adopted and signed the declaration of the citizens’ initiative for a European wage union in Budapest’s Hotel Kempinski on 14th March.
In the first press conference held by the newly-formed Citizens’ Committee, Mr Gyöngyösi stated that they wanted to serve justice for Eastern Central Europe as well as to call Western Europe’s attention to a grave inequality. He added that European inequalities could eventually lead to the EU’s disintegration.