The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the agreement in a statement on Tuesday following an agreement between the parliament and council on Monday night.
The agreement must be formally approved by the EU Parliament and the Council before taking effect. That process is expected to be a formality.
A proposal to introduce a minimum wage was introduced by the EU Commission in 2020. A subsequent proposal for an EU directive on the area has since met with strong opposition from Denmark’s government.
The government opposes EU rules in an area that is normally regulated in Denmark by labour market forces, specifically collective bargaining agreements between trade unions and employer organisations.
Several attempts have been made in Brussels to accommodate the Danish concerns. Von der Leyen also repeated those sentiments on Tuesday, stating that there would be “full respect for national traditions and the autonomy of labour market partners”.
Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard, along with Swedish government representatives, have led calls by nine EU countries expressing concerns about an EU minimum wage.
The European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, has meanwhile said that Denmark does not need to be concerned about any threat to its labour model.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has also stated that she does not believe there is any threat to the Danish practice of setting wages and working conditions through labour market negotiations.
But Marianne Vind, an MEP with Denmark’s governing Social Democratic party, gave critical marks on Tuesday relating to the EU agreement.
“In the final outcome, this could mean that the Commission and EU Court can force Denmark to introduce a minimum wage,” Wind said.
Left wing parties in Denmark, notably the Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), have previously raised a similar concern – that an EU agreement could have the unintentional effect of forcing Denmark to introduce a minimum wage.
The EU Commission believes that a minimum wage directive would enable Denmark to continue with its current practice, however.
That is because the system practiced in Denmark ensures good wages and working conditions for employees, it said.
The aim of the directive would not be to impact countries like Denmark, but other EU member states which have a legal minimum wage, it said.
Those assurances were not enough to convince Vind. The Social Democratic MEP said that the EU directive is an intervention in an area in which the union should not legislate.
“If this proposal genuinely introduces minimum wages in Denmark, I will bang the drum (in favour of) Denmark, even if we have to do it alone, going to court against the EU,” she said to news wire Ritzau.