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News Bulletin – worker-participation.eu

November 2010

EDITORIAL

Europe after undiluted shareholder capitalism - workers participation breaks ground
Norbert Kluge, European Works Council of ThyssenKrupp

Now that the new European Commission has been in office for six months it is a little clearer what its intentions might be with regard to the Agenda 2020. As this new agenda also seeks to facilitate the EU Single Market, in particular, we look at the possible role of worker participation in corporate governance. Two electronic consultations launched by DG Internal Market were of considerable importance in this regard. Read more (pdf file)

European Company (SE)

Consultation of the European Commission on the operation and impacts of the European Company (SE) statute

As another step in the process of reviewing the SE legislation, the European Commission has published a synthesis of the replies on its consultation on the so-called 'Ernst & Young study'. The study analysed the operation and impacts of the SE statute. Altogether, the EU Commission received 69 responses from 18 different countries and a range of backgrounds. Read more More information can be found in the section Review 2010.


ETUI highly critical towards the 'Ernst & Young study'

In its reply to the EU Commission's consultation, the ETUI highlighted a number of problematic issues related to the Ernst & Young study. Main points of criticism refer to the seriously deficient methodology, the representativeness of the people interviewed and the narrow view taken by the authors, which is largely limited to the perspective of the majority shareholder. Read more


Workers' participation is not­ as supposed a 'negative driver
The debate on the Ernst & Young study, initiated by the European Commission on 26 May 2010 with around 120 participants, has not confirmed the study's findings related to the role of workers' participation as a 'negative driver', particularly detrimental to the attractiveness of this European company form. The study's sweeping conclusions were revised and subjected to detailed examination in particular via the contributions of practitioners, from both the employers' and the employees' sides. Read more


Luxembourg: small country, but many SEs
Although Luxembourg is a small country, its economic influence within the EU is large. SEEurope network member Patrick Thill presented at the SEEurope network meeting in Romania the system of industrial relations in Luxembourg and the current dynamics of worker participation and corporate governance in this country. What are possible explanations why there are comparatively many SEs in Luxembourg? Read more

European Works Council (EWC)

New online tool: Comparing EWC provisions
The new tool available on the worker participation website enables users in an easy and customized way to compare national provisions on how the members of the Special Negotiating Body and the EWC members are selected. Read more


A trade union guide to the new provisions in the EWC directive

This guide has been developed by Séverine Picard, ETUC Legal Adviser, 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. Read more

European company law and corporate governance

European Commission Consultation on 'Corporate governance in financial institutions and remuneration policies'

How should our financial institutions be governed? This summer the European Commission issued a Green Book asking for opinions on how to deal with the massive failure of corporate governance in banks and insurance companies. Is this an opportunity to move away from a "shareholder dominated" towards a "stakeholder" company? Read more


The crisis: A new point of departure for an alternative corporate governance system?
Could the current financial and economic crisis be a point of departure for stronger worker participation rights in national corporate governance systems? ­ETUI's research network on worker participation (SEEurope) believed that the financial crisis may have opened a window for debate in the EU member states on alternatives to a deficient corporate governance system. Read here the summary and the full report.

EU social dialogue

New factsheets on European Sectoral Social Dialogue
A new feature on the worker-participation.eu website is the set of Sectoral Social Dialogue factsheets. They provide information on the different sectors, participants and challenges, outcomes and the joint texts. Currently there are some 40 sectoral social dialogue committees, which have produced a wide range of joint texts and agreements. The outcomes include opinions and common positions, declarations, guidelines and codes of conduct, charters, and also framework agreements. The factsheets are currently only available French but a translation into English will follow soon. Read more

Reports

New publication: 'Worker Participation 2030 - Four Scenarios'

This ETUI publication 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.Read more

Worth reading

'European Unions and Democracy' - Review by Hans Baumann

In his book on 'European Unions' published in 2008 Roland Erne assesses the capabilities of unions to act across borders and demonstrates how unions can contribute to the development of a more democratic European Union. Read more (pdf file)

Calendar

Conference (24 - 25.11.2010): Expressing employees' strategic interests in Europe's company boardrooms and the EU Internal Market
The purpose of this two day conference, organised by the EWPCC together with Stichting À Propos (NL), is to have a debate among worker representatives in transnational companies and European Companies (SE) about how to make use of employee participation rights in decision making at strategic company level and how to push companies in a more socially responsible and sustainable direction. Read more


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For more information, please contact the editor Elwin Wolters. To subscribe or have your name removed from the mailing list, send an email to Mariya Nikolova.

© ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2010. All rights reserved. We encourage the distribution of this newsletter and of the information it contains for non-commercial purposes and provided the source is credited. The ETUI is financially supported by the European Union. The European Union is not responsible for any use made of the information contained in this publication.

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