French President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a mission to Central and Eastern Europe with a strange idea. He lobbies for a directive to shorten the stay and to increase the salaries of our posted workers, from the minimum wage level, to salaries equal up to the level of French or German employees in the sector.
The proposed restrictions to posting of workers disproportionally hit the poorer Member States from Eastern and Southern Europe. However, these countries should not push for retaliatory regulations to protect their home markets, but to block “equal pay for equal work in the same place” and further liberalise trade in services.
Paradoxically, the EU is being buried by those who praise it the most. They demand equal conditions on the internal market and despite the fact that it might seem a legitimate claim, they are, in fact, attacking one of the two pillars (peace and economy) of the European project.
Posting of workers plays an essential role in the internal market of the European Union. Drawing on the fundamental values of the free movement of persons and the free movement of services, it allows workers from one EU member state to work and carry out services in another member state on a temporary basis.
It is settled that provisional application of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the EU will start since January 1, 2016. In a response, Russia is expected to increase trade barriers vis-à-vis Ukrainian goods.
This is a hallmark of protectionism; it doesn’t matter what people want to buy – current producers have to be preserved at any cost, and competition kept away.
National security has become a pretext for the introduction of protectionism in international trade. The United States use this policy to protect its market. It means a serious restriction of access to U.S. market for traders from abroad. The European Union expressed concern over this situation and warns against the creating of barriers to international trade. “Cannot justify restrictions on trade and investment based on national security if they are in fact protectionist and serve…