The right-wing government has been under pressure from the opposition Social Democrats, as well by both the unions and employer trade bodies, to join Denmark in its push to annul the directive, but has up until now held back from making any commitments.
Paulina Brandberg told TT newswire that Sweden’s permission was that unions and employer trade bodies should alone be tasked with setting salary levels and that the EU should not be involved in setting wage levels through legislation.
“This is an important issue of principle, which at root is about the limits of the EU’s authority,” she told TT. “We were waiting to see how the Danish case was formed and when we saw it, we quickly realised that it was something we could become involved in.”
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Denmark’s government in January brought a case requesting annulment of the EU’s minimum wage directive.
An annulment suit is an attempt to have the directive revoked on the grounds that it is in breach of the EU Treaty.
An EU directive on minimum wages was adopted in October last year but Denmark and Sweden were both opposed because of the established labour models in those two countries, by which wages are set through negotiations between trade unions and employers.
The EU Commission has stated that it will respect the Swedish and Danish models of wage setting and would not force either country to code a minimum wage into law.
But the Danish government in January said it wanted the directive to be removed completely. At that time it was unclear whether the Swedish side would join the case.