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Archive (Publications)

Transfer 1/2008: Does good corporate governance need worker participation?

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This issue of Transfer is on corporate governance. It argues that worker participation is vital to ensuring a company’s success. The issue analyses the influence of worker participation on corporate governance and how it contributes to developing more socially responsible companies. Key arguments: A “sustainable company”, which focuses more on patient capital and formalised workers’ influence on company decision-making, provides a successful alternative to conventional thinking on transparency which concentrates on informing shareholders. Good corporate governance recognises the interests of all stakeholders - not just shareholders. European Works Councils and worker representation in the boardrooms of European companies help achieve this as do international framework agreements between global trade union confederations and multinational companies. Companies are seeking greater social legitimacy via the establishment of corporate social responsibility policies. Respecting and involving trade unions that represent the workforce is a natural part of CSR development.

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Vocabulary for trade union work (English – German / Deutsch – Englisch / Deutsch – Französisch / Français – Allemand)

Vocabulary for trade union work

The ideal language companion for anyone working in international education and trade unions. It allows an accurate and quick consultation of specialist terminology used in talks and discussions as well as within the framework of negotiations.

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The European company statute - A new approach to corporate governance

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The European Company Statute (ECS) is one of the most important pieces of legislation adopted so far by the European Union in the field of company law. Published by Peter Lang, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the history, structure, legal basis and likely impact of the ECS, examining its evolution over some 30 years of development and its chances for integrating diverse models of corporate governance across the European Economic Area.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2009

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2009 has been published! This year’s report provides an assessment of the different facets of Lisbon Strategy. It asks whether the EU is really moving in the direction of knowledge-based growth, examines whether the EU has witnessed the creation of more and better quality jobs and considers whether the Union is succeeding in attaining greater social cohesion.

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Les administrateurs salariés et la gouvernance d’entreprise

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Worker directors in France – Staff representatives, shop stewards, works councillors… If actors and observers of the social dialogue sphere are familiar with information and consultation rights for workers, participation of the latter in company’s administration is much less known, especially when it has to do with workers representation on companies’ board as effective member, i.e. with a deliberative voice. Who are those workers directors? What are their duties? How do they reconcile workers defence with company’s economic goals? What policy do trade unions, which support them, have adopted regarding this kind of “soft” codetermination?

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European Works Councils in complementary perspectives

EWC in complementary perspectives

During the last 15 years, research on European Works Councils has revealed significant information concerning the structure, dynamics and ability of EWCs to represent employees’ interests. A multitude of factors and conditions influencing the work and results of EWC activity have been identified. Until now, however, there has been little systematic theorising about EWCs and their specific character as ‘interest organisations within profit organisations’ and the specific relationship or ‘organisational fit’ between each entity.

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After the crisis: towards a sustainable growth model

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The devastating economic and financial crisis has revealed the limitations of financial capitalism and opened up a window of opportunity to propose and implement progressive reforms. Against this background the European Trade Union Institute has brought together critical and progressive academics and researchers from Europe and the United States to help launch a debate on setting an agenda for a reformed capitalism ‘after the crisis’. A total of 39 contributors provide concise, policy-oriented proposals, each one focusing on a specific area of relevance to a post-crisis world.

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After the euro and enlargement: social pacts in the EU

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The participation of social partners in the management of socio-economic policies has been a stable feature of European politics in recent decades, having been defined as one of the key aspects of the European Social Model. Yet the role of concertation has changed during different cycles. This book aims to shed light on the most recent wave of social pacts in the last decade in western and eastern EU countries. In the context of recent socio-economic and political challenges (globalisation, changing economic context, labour market transformation, and the full implementation of EMU), 11 country chapters summarise the recent evolution of social pacts across the Eurozone and in New EU member states.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2010

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This year's Benchmarking Working Europe report embarks upon a social stocktaking of the reaction to and impact of the financial, economic and social crisis as a means of feeding into the post-crisis and EU2020 debate. Among the questions addressed this year are the following:


  • What were the macro-economic developments and policy responses?
  • How has income developed in the crisis?
  • How have labour markets responded to the financial and economic crisis?
  • How have social partners reacted and what has been their role in preventing the recession from becoming a depression?
  • How can workers better participate in the efforts to emerge from crisis and move into the direction of a sustainable growth model?
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European Works Councils: a trade union guide to Directive 2009/38/EC (Report 114)

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This guide has been developed by the ETUC in order to help trade unionists and practitioners in the area of information and consultation around Europe to play an active role in this process and to make the most of the new provisions in the European Works Council Directive as amended by Directive 2009/38/EC. It is an article-by-article legal commentary, written in an accessible style so that it can be used by everybody with interest in European Works Councils and their functioning. Part I contains general remarks on objectives and principles. Parts II, III and IV contain an article by article analysis of the provisions of the Directive and their consequences. A summary table of the guide can be found in Part V. From September 2010, the guide will also be available in French and German

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The crisis: catalyst for stronger worker participation in corporate governance?

The SEEUROPE experts believed that the financial crisis that flared up in autumn 2008 may have opened a window for debate in the EU member states on alternatives to a deficient corporate governance system. This was the motivation for assessing the debates at national level in Europe. As a general conclusion one can say there has been no major system transformation – either towards a full “stakeholder” model or a radicalization of the shareholder model. However, there are interesting developments in some countries which can be described as incremental steps in the direction of a stronger stakeholder orientation.

Read more in the summary and details on national debates in the full report.

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The European Company - Prospects for worker board-level participation in the enlarged EU

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The booklet provides information on different aspects of the European Company (SE) such as the question of worker involvement, the national transposition processes and taxation aspects. Moreover, information is given on the development and the different national systems of worker participation on supervisory or administrative boards throughout the European Union. (Available for free in English and German)

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European Works Councils - Facts and Figures 2006

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Since its first publication, this book on the state of play in European Works Councils has become a key reference tool and this newly revised and updated version will prove invaluable to anyone seeking both quantitative information and understanding of the issues surrounding the formation and operation of EWCs. All relevant data is presented in a total of 161 figures, all of them accompanied by explanatory text.

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What makes a good company? Employee interest representation in European company law: reflections and legal provisions (ETUI-REHS Report 94)

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Involvement of workers’ representatives is crucial for sound corporate governance, promising both improved economic performance and fulfilment of the Lisbon strategy. This report presents an overview of European company law and its relationship to European law on employee involvement. Thanks to Janja Bedrac’s compilation, trade unionists will find it easier to orient themselves and to identify legal reference points in this relevant and decisive debate.

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Prospects for trade unions in the evolving European system of corporate governance (ETUI-REHS Report 92)

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Co-determination and economic performance in Europe

Even though the US neo-liberal economic model is currently regarded by many as dominant, this may be proved false by the future of Europe's stakeholder economies. An examination of individual countries in the European Union reveals facts that speak against the supposed superiority of the US model in terms of economic performance. The strongest economies can be found, by and large, where employees enjoy strong rights of representation in company boardrooms, a finding that contrasts strongly with the prevailing opinion that co-determination impairs economic performance.

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Benchmarking Working Europe 2007

Benchmarking Working Europe 2007

The ETUI-REHS's benchmarking Working Europe report is an annual publication that is designed to provide a contribution to the European Union Spring summit. Benchmarking Working Europe 2007 concentrates on the issue of flexicurity as a mainstreamed issue and argues that there is a need to ensure a proper balance between flexibility and security. Cutting back on labour and social standards clearly cannot be a successful strategy to face up to globalisation. On the contrary, to maintain Europe's current advantages higher investment in education and learning as well as better social services are required. More effort is also needed in the areas of innovation, research and development.

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Industrial relations in Central and Eastern Europe. Transformation and integration. A comparison of the eight new EU member states.

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The handbook Industrial relations in Central and Eastern Europe offers a comparative study of industrial relations in the new EU member states. A set of individual country reports, based on wide-ranging empirical findings, describe the process of changing industrial relations and developments currently underway. For purposes of comparison, an examination of mainstream trends in the countries of the former EU is also included.

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Information and consultation in the European Community (ETUI-REHS report 97)

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Implementation report of Directive 2002/14/EC (Framework Directive on information and consultation)

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Workers' participation at board level in the EU-15 countries - Reports on the national systems and practices

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The 15 country reports included in this electronic publication are a valuable source of information on the different existing systems of board-level participation within the EU-15 countries. They have been prepared by national experts within the project “Prospects for participation and co-determination under the European Company Statute”.

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TRANSFER 2/2005 • Employee board-level participation in Europe

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The European Company Statute came into force in EU Member States in October 2004. The associated Directive on employee involvement in European Companies (SEs) is the first time European legislation has recognised employee board-level participation. This issue of Transfer examines such participation, the importance of the SE Directive and its implications for industrial relations and corporate governance in Europe.

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Worker board-level representation in the new EU Member States - Country reports on the national systems and practices

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This publication presents a number of short reports on the national systems and practices of worker board-level representation in the ten new member states. Each report is divided into two parts: a description of the legislative background is followed by a practitioner report written by a worker board member in the respective country.

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The forgotten Resource: Corporate Governance and Employee Board-Level Representation. The Situation in France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK

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This study looks at governance structures and corporate governance codes in four separate European states: France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. The four represent very different traditions of corporate governance - shareholder value is dominant in the UK, for example, while in the Netherlands companies are to be run in the long-term interest of all those involved. The UK is also the only country of the four where employees are not involved, at least to some degree, at board level.

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Paths to Progress - Mapping innovation on information, consultation and participation for employee involvement in corporate governance

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Expert contributions to the "Path to progress" project which was run between 2005 and 2006. Under this project, an "innovation expert group" composed of academics and other experts were asked to generate new ideas on the new trends which could improve the management of information, consultation and participation of employees in Europe in the context of the development and competitiveness strategies of the most prominent industrial sectors, and on the need to deal with company restructuring, mergers, take-overs and relocations. The summaries of the contributions have been translated in a number of languages, including Polish and Czech.

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Towards a European labour identity - The case of the EWC

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Comparative in perspective and based on empirical research, this book brings a collection of contributions and insights on how employee representative from different European countries perform their jobs as members of the European Works Councils. Exploring attempts to develop some sense of a common European labour identity, the authors examine not only the workings of the EWCs, utilizing individual case studies, but also analyze and asses the link with the broader discussions on European identity as well as European trade union co-ordination and solidarity.

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