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Evaluating the EWC Recast Directive: "Too little, too late" ETUI Report by S. De Spiegelaere

In 2009, the long awaited (since 1999) Recast Directive on European Works Councils (EWCs) was adopted. Its most important goals were to (1) improve the effectiveness of EWCs and (2) increase the amount of EWCs. In 2016, the implementation of the Recast Directive is to be evaluated by the European Commission that prepares its own report on the topic. This report feeds into the evaluation debate by building on data from analysis of 1200+ EWC agreements stored in the EWC Database managed by the ETUI.

The results show that the Recast was generally too little and too late to deliver on its declared objectives. The Recast did not stimulate the creation of more EWCs as it provided insufficient instruments and incentives to do so. The Recast did affect the content of EWC agreements in some aspects, but generally came too late to have a significant effect and followed the learning processes present among EWCs long before the legal changes. In many ways, the Recast reflected the most common practices rather than stimulated best practices.

The report can be downloaded for free from the ETUI website.

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