12th March 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, to a debate on the preparations for the European Council meeting to be held on 20th-21st March 2014 meeting.
"To find out what a meeting is about, it is sometimes necessary to put different sources together as though they were pieces in an intricate jigsaw.
"The agenda of the forthcoming meeting refers to the European Semester, which includes inspection by the Commission of reform programmes - including reforms of the labour market.
"The agenda also mentions Industrial Competitiveness and the importance of a strong and competitive industrial base as a driver for economic growth and jobs.
"If we refer to a meeting of Ecofin* held on 16th February 2012 about the European Semester of that year, on page 8 of its conclusions, we find that, 'reforms need to focus on labour markets, in particular wage setting mechanisms to ensure efficient adjustment of labour costs'.
"What does all this mean? It means that a relatively high wage economy or group of economies, embracing the ideology of Globalism and the process of Globalisation, must drive down wages to compete with the emergent economies."
* ECOFIN is a version of the Council of the European Union comprising economics and finance ministers. The Council of the European Union must not be confused with the European Council (the meeting about which we were debating).