Amandine Crespy is the academic coordinator of the political track of the Master in European Studies. She is affiliated to CEVIPOL and the Institute for European Studies. This article was originally published by The Conversation.

On 28 October 2020 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a Directive on fair minimum wages. Its purpose is to tackle in-work poverty by also diffusing the numerous criticism which have been raised towards an intervention from the EU in the realm of wages. It was expected that the key provision in the directive would set a floor level for minimum wages based on international benchmarks, for instance at 60% of the median wage in any given country. But instead of telling states “what to do”, the Commission chose to tell them “how to do it”. In fact, the draft directive foresees the setting up of a governance of minimum wages in national polities based on objective data. States can chose the criteria determining the level of the minimum wage, even though this choice is restricted to a series of factors. Furthermore, governments have to every year collect and transfer to the Commission seven types of data pertaining to minimum wages. By becoming legally binding, can data-based governance, the latest version of “governance by numbers”, square the circle of the legitimacy and efficiency of multi-level policy making?

Photo: (The Conversation).