German policy with regards to adapting minimum wage regulations to EU requirements raises the question of whether the country which has benefitted so much from the functioning of the European internal market prefers to pursue its own particular interest, rather than adhere to principles outlined by the founding fathers of the EU.
In terms of the accomplishments of European economic integration, the attempt to impost the German minimum wage on Polish companies is a step backwards – to a time before the customs union of 1993. The demand that the minimum wage should apply to drivers in transit as well can be classified in the same category as the medieval practice of toll collection and the obligation to use specific routes.
So, what convinced the German federal government to interpret the minimum wage act in such a manner? This decision is surely influenced by protectionist urges disguised as efforts to combat social dumping. The Polish road hauling sector has grown to be a European giant. We have the hard work of tens of thousands of companies to thank for it, as they have built their position of the European market from scratch in the last 20 years. All this will be investigated closely by the European Commission in an explanatory procedure. However, regardless of who is ultimately proven to be right in a formal sense, it can already be concluded that the actions of the German government represent a step backwards in the process of Europe’s economic integration which has started over 50 years ago.
Jacek Brzozowski, Adviser of the President of Employers of Poland