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Belgium

Social partners in Belgium have reached agreement on the transposition of the SE directive on 6 October 2004.

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

There is no general right in Belgium for employees to be represented at board level in companies. Both unions and employers were involved in negotiating how the directive was to be implemented in Belgium and seem satisfied with the outcome.

For further information on the SE legislation, such as the choice of SNB members, click on the more button.

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Transposition of the SE legislation in Belgium (Updated Report: June 2004)

The regulation on the European Company Statute was adopted by ‘Arret Royale’ on 14 May 2004. Transposition of the SE Employee Involvement Directive will take place in Belgium by means of a collective agreement between the employers’ federations and the trade unions. The negotiations will be organised by the National Labour Council, first within the framework of a technical workgroup, then at the National Labour Council’s general meeting. At present (10 June 2004), the negotiations in the technical workgroup are almost completed and the first draft of the collective agreement is ready.However, a number of fundamental points of disagreement remain.

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Transposition of the SE legislation in Belgium (Report: March 2004)

1. Transposition will be done by collective agreement.

2. A Working Group has been established at the level of the National Labour Council. Composition: representatives from the national employers’ organisation, VBO-FEB, and the trade unions (ACV-CSC, ABVV-FGTB,…)

3. The Working Group started in November 2003. There have been five meetings so far.

4. The ‘opt-out’ principle will not be used in Belgium.

5. In the Working Group’s activities frequent reference is made to the work done by the European group of experts.

6. So far, the focus has been on the following articles of the SE Directive:
– art 2: definitions;
– art 3: creation of the SNB.

7. No agreement has yet been reached on:
– the possibility of trade union officials serving as employee representatives;
– adjustment of SNB composition if SE structure changes in the course of SNB negotiations;
– number of experts.

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Translated transposition laws 

The full text of the transposition laws and (for most countries) unofficial translations into English can be downloaded from the EU Commission website

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Lionel Fulton (2006) Anchoring the European Company in national law