The EU Minimum Wage Directive aims to ensure a fair minimum wage in all member states. This minimum wage should be at least 60 percent of the average gross income in each country.

The aim is for employees to be paid fairly and receive an appropriate income that helps them cover their living costs.

In Germany, the legal minimum wage is currently 12.41 euros per hour, which ranks fourth in the EU. According to Statista surveys from 2024, 22 of the 27 EU member states have so far introduced an official national minimum wage.

The amount of the minimum wage varies greatly. Leader Luxembourg pays a minimum wage of 14.86 euros, while Bulgaria, at the bottom, pays 2.85 euros.

Here is an overview of the minimum wage in other European countries:

In some other European countries such as Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Italy there is no legal minimum wage. These countries rely instead on collective bargaining. This means that wages and working conditions are determined by agreements between unions and employers or companies in a collective agreement.

Such agreements often ensure higher wages and better working conditions because they are specifically tailored to the industry or company.

The EU has issued directives intended to strengthen the system of collective bargaining, particularly in countries where fewer than 80% of workers are protected by such contracts.

The EU is calling on these countries to develop plans to improve collective bargaining coverage. This is intended to help combat low wages and reduce income differences. Collective bargaining is considered an important way to ensure fair wages and promote social justice.