Publications

The EU company law package: how it should be improved to strengthen workers’ rights and avoid abuse through cross-border company mobility

The proposed EU company law package, which was published in May 2018 by the European Commission, seeks to encourage cross-border company mobility while at the same time protecting stakeholder interests. The ETUI’s GOODCORP network of company law experts has identified three areas where the package needs to be revised in the interests of protecting workers’ rights and discouraging corporate abuse and makes thirteen specific recommendations for amendment. These areas include: improving worker involvement rights; strengthening procedures for discouraging abusive behaviour such as tax evasion; and reducing the potential for fraud through online company foundations.

Download the document.

The revised Shareholder Rights Directive 2017: policy implications for workers

Shareholders Rights Directive PB 2018/02

The 2017 revised Shareholder Rights Directive gives shareholders a say on executive pay and requires institutional investors to improve shareholder engagement. The directive is thus designed to provide a counterweight to the increasingly dominant ‘shareholder’ model of corporate governance which has put the interests of firms’ shareholders ahead of other stakeholders, including their workers.  Drawing on the experience of the UK, Europe’s leading exponent of the shareholder model whose experience heavily influenced the Commission’s thinking, this brief analyses the workings of the directive, discusses its implications for worker’s rights and suggests how trade unions should respond.

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Tax justice in Europe: why does it matter for workers? (Policy Brief)

Policy Brief by Tove Maria Ryding

Tove Maria Ryding in cooperation with the ETUI's GoodCorp Expert Network casts light on the links between tax avoidance and how workers' voice be a countermeasure and a means to making companies more sustainable.

Tax avoidance by corporations is widespread in Europe and costs governments more than €70bn annually. This revenue loss, and the legal ramifications of strategies that multinational companies use to avoid paying taxes, starves public services of funding, limits the bargaining power of trade unions and undermines employee rights. This ETUI policy brief outlines the scale of the problem, describes some of the ways that corporations limit their tax liabilities, and suggests some practical solutions. The brief shows that corporations have a range of strategies for avoiding paying taxes, including: declaring themselves to be multinationals; use of ‘transfer pricing’ to shift sales from high to low tax jurisdictions; and concluding secret tax deals with governments. Wealthy individuals also have a number of accounting and legal tricks available to them to conceal their assets.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2018 is out!

On the 20/03/2018 the annual report on socio-economic developments in the European Union in 2018 was published. The report is a common publication by the European Trade Union Institute and the European Trade Union Confederation published yearly since 2001 and features brief analyses, facts and figures as well as critical evaluation of developments in the EU.

This year's Benchmarking Working Europe focuses on whether the European Union is really on the path towards convergence.

Chapter 5 of the publication focuses on social policy-making and workers' representation.

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EWC Recast Directive: trade union demands and research evidence for making changes to legislative frameworks

At the ETUC annual conference on EWCs that took place on 17-18 October 2017 under the title 'EWC Directive Revision: Mission Impossible?' the ETUI presented two infographics summarising

1) trade union demands for changes to the legislative frameworks;

2) research evidence, facts, figures and findings concerning shortcomings and loopholes in the existing legal frameworks.

Infographic: the timeline of the revision/recast process of the EWC Directive

An overview infographic presenting milestones on the road to adopitn the EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC.

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Company restructuring across borders: with or without European Works Councils?

This policy brief takes as its starting point the fact that as soon as a company engages in European-level transnational restructuring, transnational information and consultation is needed to enable the social partners to consider the cross-border dynamic of the planned measures.

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EWC Recast Evaluation Infopack: publications by the ETUI

In the run-up to the official Evaluation Report by the European Commission expected in Autumn 2016 the debate on this topic is in full swing. In the last Expert Meeting organised by the European Commission on 23/06/2016 gathering representatives of national authorities (ministries) responsible for the implementation of the EWC Recast Directive as well as representatives of trade unions (political: ETUC, ETUFs and national unions; research: ETUI) and employers (BusinessEurope) final outcomes of a study completed by consultancy ICFI for the European Commission were presented.

The ETUI has been contributing to the debate with several publications providing robust facts and figures from various angles. We gather them for you in this 'EWC Recast Evaluation Infopack'.

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New book: 'Takeovers with or without worker voice: workers’ rights under the EU Takeover Bids Directive'

In its Workers’ rights in company law series the ETUI has just published (October 2016) a new book on takeovers and workers' rights, edited by Jan Cremers (University of Amsterdam) and Sigurt Vitols (ETUI).

Workers' rights in takeover bid directive

This book presents the results of a study of workers’ rights during company takeover situations in Europe. Takeovers are extremely important for workers because a change in ownership frequently leads to restructuring in the firm, including replacement of management, changed working conditions, increased work intensity and/or mass redundancies. It is therefore crucial that workers have strong rights to receive timely and full information about the planned takeover and to intervene at an early stage of the takeover process to protect their interests. The major conclusion of the book is that the EU Takeover Bids Directive needs to be revised, as it does not provide an adequate level of workers’ rights in its current form.

The study was carried out by the ETUI’s GOODCORP network of academic and trade union experts on corporate governance and company law. The book includes case studies of takeovers as well as analyses of national legal frameworks regulating takeovers and of transversal issues related to takeovers. The book is the first in a new ETUI book series on workers’ rights in company law.

The full version of the book is available for free download.

Individual chapters can be downloaded freely from the ETUI website.

ETUI, Brussels,

ISBN 978-2-87452-420-2,

ISBN 978-2-87452-421-9 (pdf)

20 years of EWC legislation in Europe

On the occassion of the 20th anniversary of entry into force of the EU legislation on European Works Councils the ETUI (Romuald Jagodziński) published two articles on this topic. Both give an overview of the developments, main current characterstics, challenges and a future outlook.

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Managers, BusinessEurope and the development of European Works Councils by J. Waddington, V. Pulignano and J. Turk

Copyright @ R.Jagodzinski 2016

The ETUI has just published a new Working Paper by Jeremy Waddington (ETUI and University of Manchester), Valeria Pulignano and Jeffrey Turk (University of Leuven), Thomas Swerts (University of Antwerp) on a very topical question of assessing the operation of European Works Councils.

The Working Papper's relevance is (at least) twofold:

1) it presents and explains management's views on the effectiveness, usefulness, roles and operation of European Works Councils (research on management's perspective on EWCs is scarce and rare);

2) it represents a timely contribution to the ongoing debate on EWCs preceeding the European Commission's evaluation report on the implementation of the directive (and its possible review/recast/revision) expected in autumn 2016;

The publication can be downloaded freely from:

http://www.etui.org/Publications2/Working-Papers/Managers-BusinessEurope-and-the-development-of-European-Works-Councils

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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.

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'EWC and SE works councils 2016. Facts and figures' now available also in German, French, Italian and Polish

The ETUI's recent publication 'EWC and SE works councils in 2015. Facts and figures' (which is part of the 'EWC Recast evaluation infopack') has just been translated into German, French Italian and Polish.

All versions are now available digitally for a free download:

Alternatively they can be also downloaded from the ETUI website.

Workers' representation in ETUI's annual Benchmarking Working Europe

Publication date : 2017

Number of pages : 75

Chapitre+4.pdf 4.49 MB

This 2017 edition of Benchmarking working Europe focuses on the question 'overcoming cleavages across the EU?'. It analyses in four chapters and with the help of 58 visual graphs latest trends and outcomes of European policies in the areas of macro-economics, wages and collective bargaining, labour markets and, last but not least, social dialogue and workers' participation.

The Benchmarking working Europe 2017 demonstrates that the European Union is experiencing increasing social divergences and underlines the need for new policies that can generate higher living standards for all, based on fair integration and upwards convergence.

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SE Companies: Facts and Figures 2017 available now

Anders Carlson, the chief tracker of the Workers' Participation Europe Network (formerly known as SEEurope Network) monitoring the developments in the area of SE companies across Europe has just published updated facts and figures on the topic.

They can be downloaded in form of a pdf presentation.

When using the data please refer to it as A. Carslon (2017) SE Companies in 2017. Workers' Participation Europe Network, ETUI.

Strikes in Europe: a visual strike map

 

Recently the ETUI's senior researcher Kurt Vandaele published updated information on strikes in Europe.

Strike activity in Europe

This visual strike map shows for most European countries, since the year 2000:

    • the development of 'days-not-worked' due to industrial action per 1,000 employees

and the participation in industrial action per 1,000 employees.

 

Move forward in the interactive map by clicking on the forward or backward arrows or on individual countries to see detailed information per member state.

The interactive map is available in several formats:

Further questions and explanations to the data and strike activity can be found here.

'The right and duty of European Works Councils to report back to the workforce: broad uptake, little specificity', by Stan De Spiegelaere & Romuald Jagodzinski (ETUI)

This policy brief examines if and how the reformulated obligation in the Recast European Works Council Directive to report back found its way into EWC agreements by looking at survey data, results of large-scale agreement analysis and by providing examples of clauses in which this obligation is reflected.

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EWC Training: 'How to organise your communication networks', by Bruno Demaître (ETUI), Romuald Jagodzinski (ETUI), Sjef Stoop (FNV Formaat)

 

This second in a series of manuals for European Workers' Representatives explains in an easy-to-read format how European Works Council (EWC) members can organise and manage their communications network. It gives tips and tricks for better information flows and provides examples of best practices in several EWCs. The manual is available in 8 different languages.

 Hard copies can be ordered free of charge: Bruno Demaître

New ETUI book: European Works Councils and SE Works Councils in 2015. Facts and figures

Stan De Spiegelaere (ETUI) and Romuald Jagodzinski (ETUI)

Publication date : 2015

Number of pages : 47

Author(s) : Stan De Spiegelaere (ETUI) and Romuald Jagodzinski (ETUI)

In 2016 it will be 20 years since the first European Works Councils (EWC) directive came into force in the EU. In the same year, the European Commission is planning an evaluation of the EWC recast directive that will undoubtedly lead to debate on the need for further review of European regulation of EWCs. The year 2015 also marks the fifteenth anniversary of adoption of the EU directive on workers’ involvement in the European Company (SE).

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Book poster: 'Variations on a theme? The implementation of the EWC Recast Directive'

Poster promoting the ETUI book on implementation of the EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC.

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New book on European Works Councils: 'Variations on a theme? The implementation of the EWC Recast Directive'

Publication date : 2015

Number of pages : 199

Edited by : Romuald Jagodzinski (ETUI)

Contributions by: Jan Cremers, Filip Dorssemont, Sylvaine Laulom, Pascale Lorber and Romuald Jagodziński

Since 1994, the EU has established mechanisms for information and consultation procedures for workers in transnational companies (European Works Councils Directive 94/45/EC). In 2009, the EWC Directive was reviewed and amended (Recast EWC Directive 2009/38/EC). The year 2016 will see the formal conclusion of a new evaluation procedure designed to ascertain whether the improvements of 2009 have had any impact on teh EWC's conditions of operation and whether any further amendements should be considered.

This book assesses in detail the ways in which key improvements brought about by the 2009 EWC Recast Directive have been implemented in national legislation.

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Book poster: 'Long-term investment and the Sustainable Company: a stakeholder perspective. Vol. III'

Poster promoting the Sustainable Company vol. III book edited by Sigurt Vitols.

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Long-term investment and the Sustainable Company: a stakeholder perspective. Vol. III

Publication date: 2015

Number of pages: 237

Edited by: Sigurt Vitols (ETUI)

The onset of the Great Financial Crisis in 2007/8 has triggered a widespread debate about the causes and the social and environmental consequences of the lack of long-term investment around the world. This volume, the third in the Sustainable Company book series produced by the GOODCORP network of academic and trade union experts on corporate governance, presents a ‘stakeholder’ approach to the problem. The analysis and policy prescriptions presented here go beyond mainstream economic analysis by highlighting the need for major changes in the way resources are saved, distributed and invested in the interests of a sustainable and just economy and society.

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Two new studies on EWCs from the Eurofund: Linking I&C levels and EWC developments before, during and after the crisis

The Eurofound recently published two topical and important pieces of research that contribute to a better understanding of new (and old) challenges that EWCs face:

'Linking information and consultation procedures at local and European level' by Filip Dorssemont and Peter Kerckhofs

and

'European Works Council developments before, during and after the crisis' by Peter Kerckhofs
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Benchmarking Working Europe 2015

Published every year, the report analyses the state of working Europe explaining with the aid of statistics and graphs the main trends in terms of Europe’s macro-economic situation, its labour market development, the situation of wages and collective bargaining, and worker participation.

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Conference Paper: 'Are European fundamental rights to information and consultation getting diluted by national implementations? Study on implementation of European Works Councils Directive 2009/38/EC in the field of access to justice'

By Romuald Jagodzinski

The ETUI continues its research on EWCs' access to justice. During the 2014 Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) conference 'IREC 2014 - The future of the European Social Model – New perspectives for industrial relations, social and employment policy in Europe?' held at the Eurofound in Dublin on 12-14 September 2014 a paper by Romuald Jagodziński discussing implementation of sanctions for violation of EWC laws across Europe was presented.

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New book by the ETUI: 'The outsourcing challenge. Organizing workers across fragmented production networks'

Production networks in many sectors have become increasingly fragmented. Cutting labour costs by lowering pay, increasing work intensity and/or shifting flexibility costs to workers are just some of the motivations for outsourcing. But it can also be used to circumvent employee representation and collective bargaining systems within companies, and labour market regulations in general. Though such intentions may not drive the bulk of outsourcing decisions, any change in company boundaries is likely to impact employment, working conditions and industrial relations in the value chain.

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Policy Brief: 'Transnational flexibility and ‘shareholder capitalism’: a case for extending EWC competences to cover flexibility' by Valeria Pulignano

Flexibility within multinational companies (MNCs) has become increasingly transnational in character. Strategies of inter-firm benchmarking, outsourcing and cross-national or internal ‘coercive comparison’ are increasingly used by MNCs to enhance local performance by placing plants in competition with each other, forcing subsidiaries to gradually raise their level of flexibility, and eroding employees’ working conditions.

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Policy Brief: 'Working in multinationals and domestic firms compared - myths and realities' by Maarten van Klaveren and Kea Tijdens (AIAS, Amsterdam), Denis Gregory (TURU, Oxford)

The three authors of this policy brief investigated whether multinational enterprises (MNEs) offer better terms and conditions for employment than domestic (non-MNE) firms. Using data from the WageIndicator web survey (www.wageindicator.org), the researchers compared wages, working conditions and job quality, working hours, training possibilities, and industrial relations at the workplace in MNEs and domestic companies.

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Policy Brief: 'Implementation of enforcement provisions of the European Works Councils Recast Directive: are sanctions really ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’?

Policy Brief by Romuald Jagodziński (ETUI)

Date of publication: 2014

This policy brief by the ETUI shows the importance of proper implementation of sanctions for the overall efficiency and implementation of the goals of the EWC Recast Directive. By comparing national sanctions with the criteria of effectiveness, proportionality and dissuasiveness set by the EWC Recast Directive it highlights the excessive discrepancies between national regimes and the EU legislation. On this basis it formulates some concrete policy recommendations for the Commission’s future implementation report on this Directive.

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Policy Brief: 'Collective labour law under attack: how anti-crisis measures dismantle workers' collective rights'

Policy Brief by Isabelle Schömann (ETUI)

Date of publication: 2014

This policy brief by Isabelle Schömann (ETUI) demonstrates how the EU's financial and economic crisis has been used to attack European collective labour law. Amendments to the Lisbon Treaty, changes in the EU's economic governance and austerity measures have led to drastic national labour law reforms which undermine fundamental social rights.

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Field manual - Scenario building

This guide builds on the ETUI's Worker Participation 2030 project which looked at the future of worker participation under four different scenarios. It is a manual for people who want to know more about scenario-building and are considering setting up their own scenario project. It has been designed as a compact and easily accessible overview of the method of scenario building and the different steps entailed in the process.The field manual is currently translated into German and French.

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La participation des travailleurs à l’horizon 2030 – Quatre scénarios

The scenario publication has now been translated into French (also available in EN and DE).

Cette publication s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un exercice ambitieux : se projeter dans le futur, plus précisément en l’an 2030. Quatre scénarios alternatifs explorent les perspectives à long terme et l'évolution du contexte de la participation des travailleurs sous divers angles en Europe.

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1973–2013: 40 years of the European Trade Union Confederation

This joint ETUC-ETUI publication takes stock of the ETUC’s 40-year history. On the basis of numerous unpublished documents, the book tells the story of the challenges, successes and failures of the ETUC over these forty years. It combines a scientific and historical approach with a political one, the aim being to ‘reveal a rationale for action and a sense of coherence, and to identify the guiding principle that has characterised the – sometimes fraught – history of the ETUC’.

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Atypical forms of employment contracts in times of crisis

This working paper builds on previous research undertaken by the ETUI on the impact of the economic and financial crisis on labour law reforms in EU Member States. It maps the landscape and evolutions in the regulation of atypical employment contracts, analysing how some of these evolutions can be related to the context of the economic and financial crisis.

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IGBCE BWS (2013) Training, education, advice and management for EWCs. A manual for trainers and lecturers

In November 2013, the Gesellschaft für Bildung, Wissen, Seminar of the German mining, chemical and energy trade union IGBCE published a new manual designed mainly for EWC trainers, coaches and lecturers. The key focus of the publication is the development of intercultural competence, legal and organisational frameworks for EWCs, as well as target-setting and decision-making processes. The manual was prepared by TEAM.EWC, a consortium of German, Austrian and Romanian trade unions within the framework of a Leonardo da Vinci innovation transfer project.

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The European Convention on Human Rights and the Employment Relationship

The publication focuses on the EU and the interplay between the Strasbourg case law and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, analysing the relevance of the ECHR for the protection of workers' rights and for the effective enjoyment of civil and political rights in the employment relationship. It includes, among others, chapters on ‘The right to form and join a trade union in Art. 11 ECHR’, ‘The right to bargain collectively in Art. 11 ECHR’ and ‘The right to take collective action in Art. 11 ECHR’. more

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Health, safety and risk prevention – Improving information, consultation and participation in enterprises

The publication is the outcome of an ETUC project intended to meet the new needs of trade-union teams, which require a better understanding of the European worker representation systems dedicated to health, safety and working conditions.

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Transnational company agreements and the role of European Works Councils in negotiations

As a rule, the competences of European Works Councils (EWCs) are limited to information and consultation. Nonetheless, the number of European company-level framework agreements negotiated by EWCs and/or trade unions has increased steadily since the early 2000s. By the end of 2011, 119 such agreements had been concluded.

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Working time reforms in times of crisis

This working paper extends and complements the analysis of pre-2012 anticrisis measures published in the earlier ETUI Working Paper 'The crisis and'national labour law reforms: a mapping exercise' which dealt with anti-crisis measures on working time taken before February 2012.

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Implication des travailleurs dans la Société européenne (SE) - Guide pour les acteurs de terrain

En octobre 2001, l’UE a officiellement adopté la législation sur la Société européenne, également connue sous son nom latin Societas Europaea (SE). Ce guide vise à garantir que les opportunités offertes par la législation sur la SE soient exploitées. Il a d’abord et avant tout été conçu pour aider les acteurs de terrain à préparer et à conduire les négociations portant sur les accords relatifs à l’implication des travailleurs dans les SE. Also available in English and German.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2013

Widening economic and social gaps among EU member states, as well as among different groups and categories of citizens within society, are not only placing in jeopardy the future of Social Europe but threatening to undermine also the whole project of European integration. The post-2008 recession and debt crisis, helped along by EU leaders’ obstinate clinging to the failing remedies of fiscal austerity, have accelerated the disenchantment of millions of European citizens with the half-century-old project to build and consolidate a European Union. This is one of the most striking conclusions of the ETUI’s Benchmarking Working Europe report for 2013. Chapter 6 is devoted to workers’ rights, worker mobilisation and workers’ voice.

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A decade of experience with the European Company

This publication of the SEEurope Network provides a comprehensive overview of the legislation on the European company (SE – Societas Europaea) and its history and development. It assesses the overall significance and impact of the SE on the business sector and on worker involvement in Europe and provides an outlook for the future of the SE. The publication also makes specific recommendations for policymakers regarding the future revision of the SE legislation specifically as well as European company law and corporate governance generally.

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European company law and the Sustainable Company: a stakeholder approach. Vol. II

In this book, members of the GOODCORP network of researchers and trade unionists present their proposals for European company law which would encourage companies to follow sustainable, stakeholder-oriented strategies. Key proposals include: revising our understanding of the firm and its key stakeholders; strengthening stakeholder ‘voice’ in companies; increasing the transparency of companies through binding requirements for social and environmental reporting; and negotiating employee-friendly agreements with investors through collective bargaining.

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Non-financial reporting beyond the strict minimum: is the workforce a well-informed stakeholder?

This working paper by Jan Cremers of the Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies summarises the results of an inquiry by the SEEurope network on the current legal framework and practices in 28 European countries regarding non-financial and sustainability-related reporting by European companies and the role and involvement of trade union representatives in this form of reporting.

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Transnational collective bargaining at company level. A new component of European industrial relations?

Transnational collective bargaining (TCB) has become a ‘hot’ topic of European industrial relations. As well as collective bargaining between workers and employers conducted at the sectoral or national level, negotiations on employee rights and working conditions now also take place at the supranational level, within multinational companies. It is a development that poses major challenges for trade unions, as well as for employers and lawmakers. This book takes stock of the particular challenges faced by trade union representatives, works councils and employer organisations; it reviews the existing literature on this topic and examines contrasting views of the prospects for subsequent development of this new practice; it also offers some practical suggestions for policymakers who find themselves having to deal with this new component of the Europeanisation of industrial relations.

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Are employee participation rights under pressure? Trends at national and EU level

Just a few weeks before the launch of a new Action Plan on Company Law and Corporate Governance by Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, this Policy brief seeks to review the stakeholder model of corporate governance that prevails in Europe by looking at the evolution of board-level employee representation rights in the light of national and European developments.

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Revue de l'IRES (n° 71) La participation des salariés au niveau européen

The French Institute for Economic and Social Research (IRES) has dedicated its latest issue of its Revue de l'IRES to the issue employee participation at European level. The issue includes articles on European Works Councils, the European Company (SE) and transnational company bargaining. All articles are available for free download on the IRES website, abstracts are available in English.

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Manual for European Workers’ Representatives: 01 How to make your meetings more successful

The booklet was developed by the European Workers’ Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC). It is the first of a series of practical and helpfully illustrated manuals for workers’ representatives in transnational information and consultation bodies. The first manual offers some practical tips on how to make meetings European bodies (auch as EWC or SE works councils) more useful, more efficient and more successful. The manual is currently available in eight languages and can be downloaded as pdf (EN, FR, SW, ES, NL, DE, PL, GR).

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2012 - Social inequality worsening in European Union

A new comprehensive study launched on 5 March by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) confirms growing forms of social inequality in all EU member states. This worrying trend is the result of long-term policy choices for market liberalism and the prioritisation of harsh austerity programmes as a result of the financial and fiscal crisis post-2008.

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Worker involvement in the European Company (SE) - A handbook for practitioners

The handbook introduces the SE and its mechanism of employee involvement. It explains the negotiation procedures and provides ‘tips and tricks’ for a decent preparation of negotiations. Based on the experience of several experts, it gives an overview of key aspects of an SE agreement and includes an extensive set of overviews, graphics and comparative tables.

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Board-level employee representation rights in Europe

17 European Member States and Norway have enacted legal provisions allowing for employee representation, with voting rights, on the supervisory board and/or board of directors of companies headquartered on their national territory. Additional provisions regulating Board-level employee representation [BLER] are to be found in several pieces of European company law. Even so, BLER remains a hotly debated topic at both national and European levels.
This report presents the ins-and-outs of BLER, describing the current situation, potential future developments, and the issues at stake. It aims to provide an overview of BLER rights as well as of the major trends to have emerged in recent years. In this way, information gleaned through the SEEurope network helps to answer a key question, namely, is BLER in Europe under pressure? (Available in English and German)

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Questions related to the review of the SE Directive – Basic considerations for the Social Partners’ consultation (SEEurope summary report)

The European Commission decided in July 2011 to reopen the consultation on the SE legislation. The new initiative was a first-phase consultation of the social partners under Article 154 TFEU on the possible review of Directive 2001/86/EC supplementing the Statute for a European company with regard to the involvement of employees. The ETUC consulted the affiliates based on a draft submission paper that was formulated in cooperation with the ETUI’s SEEurope team. In summer 2011 the national SEEurope experts were also asked to react to the questions raised in the consultation documents based on their expertise.

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Employee representation in corporate governance: part of the economic or the social sphere?

Observers of the European Company legislative process identified the then-competing political projects as being driven in one case by the desire for harmonization, whereas the other focused on a flexible approach to regulating employee participation. Since the European institutions have definitively adopted the latter approach in the meantime, this reading became obsolete. This ETUI Working Paper proposes to adopt a new analytical framework that will help give better insight into what is at stake in the drafting of European legal rules on corporate governance and worker participation, such as the pending European Private Company Statute.

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European social dialogue and transnational framework agreements as a response to the crisis? (ETUI Policy Brief)

This Policy Brief 4/11 attempts to overcome the knowledge gap about how European social partners or workers’ representatives have tried to contribute to facing the challenges and mitigating the (negative) implications of the crisis.

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The EWC landscape on the eve of the transposition deadline of the recast directive 2009/38/EC Evidence from the ETUI database of European Works Councils

The present brochure which has been published for the ETUC Congress in Athens contains pre-selected data from the forthcoming ETUI publication ‘Mapping European Works Councils’. It aims at delivering basic figures (from the ETUI database of EWCs) concerning the operation of EWCs and the workers they represent on the eve of the EWC recast directive’s transposition deadline. The provided information will allow evaluation of the new legislation’s impact on EWCs as it will offer a point of reference for measuring the attainment of some of the goals set by the recast directive. It will also be of particular relevance in relation to the goal of increasing the number of EWCs.

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Transfer issue on employee participation at company level and social dialogue

This Transfer issue is to take stock of the various Commission initiatives in the fields of employee participation at company level and social dialogue generally. A particular focus lies on the opportunities and challenges which these initiatives provide to trade unions in terms of their capacity to influence developments at European level. While the first part focuses on the sectoral and cross-sectoral (interprofessional) levels analysing developments in social dialogue, the second part concentrates on the company level, examining the impact of the three main legislative measures that have been adopted in the field of employee participation since the mid-1990s: the European Works Councils Directive, the Directive on the involvement of employees in European Companies and the framework Directive on information and consultation at the national level

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EU and national company law – fixation on attractiveness

The expert’s of the ETUI’s SEEurope network have investigated, in their report, the introduction of more simplified national company legislation and the instigation of more competition between Member States. Besides that, the European Commission, with the Better Regulation agenda, is promoting more competitiveness and attractiveness within and between the Member States. EU legislation should not encourage regime-shopping but contribute to a more sustainable legal setting.

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Mitbestimmung in der Europäischen Aktiengesellschaft (SE)

The publication is an analysis of 44 agreements in German SEs dealing with worker participation, information and consultation. Basic background information on the SE is provided at the beginning of the book. The core of the book however is numerous examples of portions of concrete agreements, divided up by subject area. An accompanying CD makes referencing provisions easier. The examples provide guidance for those involved in first-time negotiation or renegotiation of SE agreements.

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Die Europäische Aktiengesellschaft

The publication is a timely update (5th edition) of a booklet providing a detailed overview of the SE as well as additional information on cross-border mergers. This publication is part of a series of practical guides for board level employee representatives. As it gives more detailed background information on the SE it is a valuable complement to another recent HBS publication for those involved in negotiations on SE agreements.

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The Sustainable Company: a new approach to corporate governance

For the past two decades corporate governance reform in Europe has been guided by the ‘shareholder value’ model of the firm. That model is now discredited as one of the major causes of the financial and economic crisis. In this book an alternative approach to corporate governance is presented by members of the GOODCORP network of researchers and trade unionists. This new approach, entitled the Sustainable Company, draws on both traditional ‘stakeholder’ models of the firm and newer concerns with sustainability.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2011

Is the Europe 2020 strategy leading us, as it promises, towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth? This is the main question addressed by this publication on the eve of this year’s Spring European Summit. The ETUC and ETUI offer a critical assessment of the strategy and its various components: will it be able to provide a framework for the creation of more and better-quality jobs? Are the policies and indicators set to promote an increase in social cohesion? How can workers better participate in the achievement of these various aims? Benchmarking Working Europe 2011 is structured in eight topical chapters illustrated by a significant number of graphs, and has a completely new layout. Chapter 8 is dealing with the issues of Social Dialogue and Worker Participation

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‘In the union and on the board’: experiences of board-level employee representatives across Europe

Many companies today seem to have become little more than money-machines, seeking the highest returns from global markets. Employees, and indeed many managers too, are the slaves rather than the masters of such companies. Works councils and trade unions are reduced to mopping up the social consequences of their decisions. That is why this book, edited by Michael Gold, Norbert Kluge and Aline Conchon, depicts the everyday realities of serving as an employee representative in company boardrooms, and – as importantly – the personalities behind them. Eighteen representatives located in 12 European countries introduce the reader to their experiences, as well as their duties, responsibilities and perceptions against the background of their individual character, colleagues and workplaces.

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Worker participation: a ‘burden’ on the European Company (SE)? - A critical assessment of an EU consultation process

In March 2010, the EU Commission finally made available the so-called ‘Ernst and Young study’ on the operation and the impacts of the Statute for a European Company. Shortly afterwards the Commission launched an online consultation on the results of the study. In July 2010, the European Commission produced a summary report on the replies to the online consultation.This ETUI paper brings together a critical analysis of the consultation procedure, the Commission consultation summary and the ETUI’s reply to the consultation on the Ernst&Young study.

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Worker participation 2030. Four scenarios.

This publication, edited jointly by ETUI and the Berlin-based Institute for Prospective Analysis (IPA), sets itself an audacious task: casting a long look forward into the future, namely the year 2030. Four alternative scenarios explore the long-term prospects and changing contexts of worker participation, in its various forms, in Europe. The stories incorporate broad developments in society, as well as the strategies and actions of people and organisations, first and foremost the actors involved in worker participation. Available in English, French and German (hard copy and free pdf download).

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