Yana Toom in Politico: Where is this black hole where the Commission buries our initiative reports?

The Brussels newspaper Politico asked MEPs what they would do if they could write legislation. Among others Politico.eu publishes the answers of Yana Toom, a long-time MEP from Estonia who belongs to the liberal Renew Europe group.

“If the European Parliament had the same powers as the European Commission, what would it do?” Politico asks. “MEPs have longed for the ability to propose legislation since, well, since there’s been a Parliament. They can request the Commission to put something on the agenda, but their so-called initiative reports are non-binding and, more often than not, go unanswered. “Where is this black hole where the Commission buries our initiative reports?” asked Yana Toom, a long-time MEP from Estonia who belongs to the liberal Renew Europe group. Addressing the Strasbourg plenary in July, the Commission’s incoming president promised to change that.”

If the Parliament had the ability to legislate, Toom, the Estonian Renew Europe MEP, would want to ensure every EU country has a fair minimum wage. Some 22 EU countries currently have minimum wages, but the amount varies greatly from one to the next. “We have to keep an eye on our internal market, it has to be fair and more or less balanced,” said Toom.

In an October initiative report approved by MEPs, Toom called on the Commission to “put forward a legal instrument that would ensure every worker in the EU has a fair minimum wage.” She wants a hard law. “We can’t have a recommendation that no one implements,” she said, referring to guidelines released in 2012 by the José Manuel Barroso Commission that did little to move things forward.

It’s an issue where even the Commission’s powers are limited, Toom admitted. National governments hold most of the power on social issues and “without opening the treaties, we can’t do anything,” she said. “We have big ambitions but our hands are tied.”

You can read the full article here.

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