The purpose of a European Works Council (EWC) is to bring together employee representatives from the different European countries in which a multinational company has operations. During EWC meetings, these representatives are informed and consulted by central management on transnational issues of concern to the company’s employees. Directive 94/45/EC – governing the establishment of such EWCs – is applicable to transnational undertakings and groups of undertakings employing in total more than 1000 employees in the EEA, and at least 150 of them in two member states. The EWC Directive has evolved to become an important gauge of compliance with the European standards and practices shaping the European Social Model. After 10 years of attempts to amend the EWC directive, on 6 May 2009 a recast EWC directive was adopted (2009/38/EC).
Frequently asked questions on European Works Councils (EWC)
The graphs on this site were prepared on the basis of information gathered within the EWC Database (EWCDB) of the ETUI. Click on the pictures to enlarge!
The slides can be downloaded from the EWCDB-Website in DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, NL and PL.
An increasing number of agreements on the setting up of European works councils or SE works councils contain provision for training of representatives to be financed by the firm. In this framework, the ETUI Education Department organises made-to-measure courses in response to requests from European works councils, SE works councils and Special Negotiating Bodies (SNBs).
This small tool enables you to compare the different national procedures for appointing members of the special negotiating body and EWC members Available in English, French and German (click on country flag above).Procedures Countries
Multinationals havingan EWC: 1158
EWCs ever created: 1619
Active EWC Bodies: 1189
(Data as of 23/02/2021)
For more information and up-to-date figures visit:
Romuald JagodzinskiSenior Researcher, ETUITel +32 (2) 224 04 email@example.com
Stan De SpiegelaereSenior Researcher, ETUI+32 2 224 firstname.lastname@example.orgTransnational collective bargaining at company level. A new component of European industrial relations? ETUI: Brussels, 2012