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19th Spain-Italy Summit

Yolanda Díaz and her Italian counterpart, Nunzia Catalfo, sign a Memorandum of Understanding on minimum wage and social economy

Wednesday 25 November 2020

During the Summit, held at Almudaina Palace, a plenary session and various sector meetings were held.

Minister Díaz, together with the Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, Pablo Iglesias, held a meeting with the Italian Minister for Work and Social Policies, Nunzia Catalfo, at which they addressed the following core issues: the minimum wage in a European framework, boosting the social economy, teleworking and successful tools in seeking to maintain employment during the pandemic, such as the Temporary Lay-off Plans (Spanish acronym: ERTEs) and Cassa Integrazione.

At the end of the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the ministers on cooperation on the minimum wage and the social economy.

The MOU, founded on potential cooperation between the two countries with shared nexuses, and a common history and legal tradition, sets out the common commitments in a detailed fashion regarding the minimum wage, including sharing experiences and the transfer of information and good practices.

Accordingly, an agreement was reached to back the European Commission initiative on the adoption of an ambitious EU directive on the minimum wage, as an additional step in the application of the 2017 European Pillar of Social Rights on behalf of a fairer and more integrating Europe. In addition, frameworks for fair minimum wages will be promoted and strengthened at a national level, as an instrument for workers to be less vulnerable, to stimulate economic growth and to make progress on creating better quality jobs for all workers.

This is not the first time that Spain and Italy have shared their experiences on this matter, since on 29 October, the Spanish and Italian Ministers for Work signed up to a commitment, in an article published jointly, on the importance of fair minimum wages within the framework of the European Union.

The MOU signed on Wednesday also provides for bilateral cooperation within the framework of the social economy, promoting its inclusion in economic, social and business cooperation policies and to enhance development in Spain and Italy. Channels for coordination were established between the most representative social economy organisations from the two countries and it was agreed to boost the social economy in third countries, particularly in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

Yolanda Díaz and Nunzia Catalfo also exchanged opinions at the meetings held at the Summit on the regulation of teleworking, which Italy expressed an interest in, and the tools for maintaining employment during the pandemic, such as the Temporary Lay-off Plans (Spanish acronym: ERTEs) and Cassa Integrazione.

The implementation of the MOU, which will be developed by the respective directorates-general and technical teams from the Spanish and Italian ministerial departments, will focus on sharing information, documentation, experiences and good practices; visits by official delegations and the posting of experts; the organisation of and participation in conferences, courses, seminars and workshops; training actions and other forms of cooperation defined within the framework of this agreement.

The MOU will take effect as from its date of signature for a scheduled term of two years, although it may be extended, as provided for in the text of the document.

Non official translation