Slovenia joins Wage Union initiative

The European Citizens' Initiative was introduced in Slovenia yesterday, and our neighbours started collecting statements of support for reducing the EU's East-West wage gap. In the Slovenian Parliament Márton Gyöngyösi held a press conference together with the initiative's Croatian representative.

On Tuesday, Slovenia joined the Wage Union initiative. In Hungary's south-western neighbourhood, young Member of Parliament Andrej Čuš has committed to taking up the cause of eliminating wage gaps within the EU. Considering its population of around 2 million, Slovenia needs to collect at least six thousand statements of support from citizens by the end of May.

Talking to the journalists attending the press conference held in the media room of the Parliament Building in Ljubljana, Mr Čuš emphasized that the European Union must not solely serve the interests of western power centres, and the social dimensions of European cooperation must be improved as much as its other aspects. "This includes paying equal wages for the same job across the European Union," Mr. Čuš asserted. So, Slovenia will already start collecting the statements of support this week.

President of the Generation of Renewal Party of young intellectuals and Croatian representative of the initiative Frano Čirko noted that massive emigration was the greatest tragedy of the younger generations. He said the process was not typically driven by a wish for adventure but by the impoverishment threatening these generations in Central Europe. In Mr Čirko's view, the freedom of movement is a key European value but it is worthless if it is a pressure rather than an opportunity for hundred thousands of young people.

Márton Gyöngyösi, the representative of the Citizens' Committee for the Wage Union talked about the legal feasibility of the Wage Union concept and the project's achievements so far. The wage issue is not an ideological and not only a political matter, Mr Gyöngyösi said, noting that the initiative had gained significant support from trade unions and private citizens as well as political parties.

The youngest member of the Slovenian ParliamentAt 28 years of age, Andrej Čuš is the youngest representative in the Slovenian Parliament. A former member of the Slovenian Democratic Party, which has good relations with Fidesz, he left the organization when he was calling for stricter border control measures while the party was rather converging to Angela Merkel's position. Working as an independent MP ever since, he has raised public awareness with his dynamic and youthful communication as well as his spectacular political actions. Such actions included the case when he handed two platters of beer to his fellow MPs who were debating World War II in parliament instead of focusing on the major issues currently impacting Slovenia. He believes that Slovenia should be concentrating on future challenges rather than 20th-century injuries.