Today’s ruling of the European Court of Justice in the case Dirk Rüffert v. Land Niedersachsen has already led to strong reactions in Sweden and Denmark. The Chair of the EP:s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Mr. Jan Andersson, calls the ruling (SW) “unfortunate” and “a deafeat for Europe’s wage earners.” Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund (SW) calls the ruling a “set-back for the Swedish model” and argues that it is wrong in principle that the Court makes political decisions. According to Europa-Nytt, (SW) Swedish and Danish Trade Union representatives find the ruling unwelcome but are of the opinion that it will not affect the situation in Denmark or Sweden. Predictably, the Swedish Employers Association welcomes the Court’s ruling.
The ruling of the Court (EN) can be read here. An angry reaction from the European Trade Union Confederation (EN) calls the ruling “destructive and damaging.” A quick analysis of the consequences from a Swedish point of view is given by Europa-Nytt (SW).
It would be a daring undertaking to summarize the ruling in a few words but, as far as we understand, the main point is that Trade Unions can only demand that workers from other member states are paid according to the national minimum wage or a national collective agreement but not according to local conditions which may grant workers higher wages in a