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Focus on Central-Eastern Europe - a trio of events

On 27-29 March 2019 the ETUI's European Workers' Participation Competence Centre organised and co-hosted events focusing on Central-Eastern Europe.

Firstly, a seminar for board-level employee representatives “Workers’participation in corporate governance in Central and Eastern Europe” was organised in Łódź, in its heyday a textile-industry-capital-city of Poland, on 27/03/2019. The seminar aimed to:

  • To learn and share knowledge about national board-level employee representation systems in central and eastern Europe, their regulation, evolution and variations, political debates and positions of actors regarding this form of workers’ participation.
  • To understand the relative importance of the economic, political, institutional and social context for board-level employee representation to become a leverage for workers’ interests.
  • To learn from the exchange of practical experiences of board-level employee representatives in different countries and promote a European network of experts dealing with board-level employee representation in central and eastern European countries.

It filled a pressing void in the understanding of specific challenges and background that employee representatives from this region bring to supervisory and directors' boards across the EU.

Secondly, the ETUI in cooperation with University of Łódź (Department of European and Collective Labour Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, main organiser Dr hab. Dagmara Skupien) organised a scientific conference, yet strongly oriented towards practice: "Workers’ Representation in Europe: are there specific Central and Eastern European perspectives?". The conference featured panels composed of researchers, academics and practitioners from across Europe, who looked at various levels at which specificities, characteristic challenges, limitations and different understandings between workers' representatives from the Western and Central-Eastern parts of the EU occur:

1. Trade Unions, Works Councils – different models of workplace representation

2. East-West comparison of structures

3. Transnational level of workers’ representation (focusing mainly on EWC and SE works councils and transnational company agreements)

4. Panel: EWCs in practice - reflexions of Polish representatives.

Thirdly, Workers' Participation Europe network of ETUI held its regular meeting on the fringe of the above mentioned conference.

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