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The annual 2016 conference of the European Workers' Participation Competence Centre is on

Each year the European Workers' Participation Competence Centre (a transversal platform within the European Trade Union Institute) organises a conference for worker representatives from all over Europe to exchange experiences, knowledge and skills necessary for worker representatives active in transnational settings and roles.

This year's main theme is 'Building Bridges: combining information, consultation and board-level employee representation in European multinationals'. In other words, the conference focuses on the articulation, i.e. linking between various levels of information and consultation.

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EWPCC Conference 2016 'Building Bridges: combining information, consultation and board-level employee representation in European multinationals'

On 24-26 February, the 2016 annual Conference of the European Workers’ Participation Competence Centre (ETUI) will open a forum for employee representatives from across Europe to discuss workers' participation issues in its transnational dimension.

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“Social dialogue as labour market regulator” panel at the ETUI & ETUC Conference 'Europe at a crossroads. Which way to quality jobs and prosperity?'

During the recent conference 'Europe at a crossroads. Which way to quality jobs and prosperity?' by the European Trade Union Institute and the European Trade Union Confederation organised on 24-26 September 2014 panel 3 was devoted to the question of future role(s) social dialogue may/should play as a tool in regulation of labour markets.

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Annual EWPCC Conference, 26 February - 27 February 2015: 'Variations on a Theme: Understanding information, consultation and negotiation at the workplace across Europe'

The 2015 annual Conference of the European Workers' Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) , 26-27 February 2015 in Brussels.

As part of its series of conferences aimed at better understanding the multi-level dynamics of workers’ participation across national borders, this year’s EWPCC Conference turns its attention to the workplace level. The aim is to better understand the processes of information, consultation and negotiation at the local enterprise level.

The target group are employee representatives as well as trade union and academic experts in this field.Over 180 participants from all over the EU registered.

The conference can be followed on Twitter, hashtag is #EWPCC2015

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SE Europe Network Meeting

At its meeting on 24–25 March 2014, the SE Europe Network addressed the possible implications of the EU Commission’s REFIT Agenda for the three information and consultation Directives and the eight company law Directives affected. The outlook for impending Social Partner consultations and a possible social dialogue procedure was also discussed with representatives from the ETUC. Updates about the ETUI’s work on the area of workers’ participation were presented and discussed. Participants also examined recent developments at the EU level, such as new Commission proposals in the area of company law and the ETUC’s project on developing a legislative minimum standard for workers’ participation.

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Workshop on MNCs strategies and their implications for labour and employment

ETUI, in cooperation with WZB Berlin, organized a workshop on multinational corporations’ strategies and their implications for labour and employment. The workshop brought together leading researchers and trade union practitioners. It was the launch event of a new ETUI network on multination corporations.

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EWPCC Conference: Broadening horizons – The practice of board-level employee representation across Europe

On 18–19 February, the 2014 Conference of the European Workers’ Participation Competence Centre showcased the findings of the Voice of Labour Survey, the first ever large-scale survey of board-level employee representatives across Europe.

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European Scenario Workshop ‘Worker Participation 2030’ – Anticipation workshop for EWC and SE-WC Select Committees

The workshop brought together Select Committee members from three European Works Councils and one SE Works Council to explore the four alternative scenarios developed in the project ‘Worker Participation 2030’. The workshop offered the chance to reflect within the entire group and within the individual Select Committees about (long-term) strategy building and priority setting against the background of an open future. The workshop was part of the ETUI’s series of Anticipation workshops, suitable for European Works Councils as well as national representation bodies.

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Seminar for EWC and SE-Works Council members

The European Worker Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) and the Education Department of the European Trade Union Institute will be holding a training for EWC and SE-Works Council members in Vienna, Austria at the end of January 2014. This is the second in a series of seminars on the basics of EWC activities and is targeted towards EWC and SE-WC members from the UK, Austria, Lithuania, Liechtenstein and Slovenia. Further seminars in the series will be targeted towards other countries.

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Seminar for employee representatives on the supervisory boards in German-based SEs

The European Worker Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) will be holding a seminar for employee representatives on the supervisory boards of German-based SEs from 13-15 January in Berlin. The seminar will focus on the rights, roles and scope for action of employee representatives in German-based SEs. The seminar is designed to be attended by small delegations of 3-5 employee representatives from the same company. It is thus also the aim of this seminar to foster cooperation among the all the employee represenstatives on the supervisory board and to allow participants to focus on their own specific situations and tasks.

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Sustainable construction - or how to develop a social, long-term, environmentally friendly industry

This workshop for worker representatives from the construction industry will focus on analyzing and discussing the major sustainability problems in the construction industry. Furthermore, the potential role of worker involvement in promoting sustainable companies. This is one of a series of workshops designed for worker representatives which focus on sustainability problems and possible strategies in specific sectors.

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Comparing notes and generating ideas: SEEurope meets GoodCorp


In order to generate knowledge and monitor developments at the national level from a European perspective, the European Workers’ Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) in the ETUI runs several specialised research networks. Two networks which are closely linked to one another are SEEurope and GoodCorp: SEEurope is the research network focusing on the SE and related issues, and GoodCorp is the ETUI’s research network on corporate governance.

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Seminars on the ‘Sustainable Company’ project

In the first week of April two seminars took place to publicise the new book European company law and the Sustainable Company: a stakeholder approach (see description above in the section on ETUI publications). The first was hosted by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) in Stockholm on 3 April, and the second took place at the University of Oslo on 5 April.

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EWPCC Conference 2013: 10 Years of SE – How far have we come?

This year’s annual EWPCC Conference, held in Rome from 20-21 March 2013, reflected on the first decade of experience and research on SEs. The conference was attended by over 75 board-level employee representatives, SE-Works Council members, trade union officials, and academic experts.

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Expert workshop: EWC network on Monitoring implementation of the EWC Recast Directive

Within the framework of an ETUI project focusing on analysis of the implementation of the EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC into national law an expert workshop took place on 18 March in Brussels. The workshop consisted of presentations of the preliminary findings on the provisions transposing the directive into national law and subsequent discussions with participants.

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IRES/ETUI Seminar: Board-level representation in France: experience and future extension

On 14 March, European experts met in Paris at a seminar organised by the IRES with the financial support of the EWPCC to exchange views about the current system and future extension of board-level employee representation in France. Researchers, trade union officials and practitioners presented their analyses and experiences to put the legal initiative for disseminating this form of employee participation into perspective.

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SEEurope Research Network meeting

The ETUI’s SEEurope Research Network held its first country reporters’ meeting of the year from 28 February to 1 March in Dublin. In cooperation with the Irish Trade Union Congress a seminar on ‘Perspectives for worker involvement in Ireland’ was organised. On the second day, the SEEurope members exchanged views and experiences with colleagues from Eurofound on their work in the field of industrial relations .

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Scenario Workshop on Labour Relations 2030 in the Finance Sector

Against the background of profound structural change and great uncertainty in the financial sector, the scenario workshop investigated on long-term perspectives for employment and labour relations in the European finance sector over the next 20 years. The workshop brought together 25 employee representatives, shop stewards and trade union officials in the financial sector from different companies and countries.

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Scenario Workshop "Worker Participation 2030" for EWC members

Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict the future? Unfortunately, that is not something we can teach you. What the scenarios "Worker Participation 2030" do provide is a roadmap of what the future might bring. They do not tell you what you should or should not do. Instead, they help you to conceive different alternatives, prepare for different possible futures and deal with the risks and opportunities that lie ahead. The workshop is addressed to European Works Council members from different companies and different sectors who want their EWC to become more pro-active.

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ScenarioLab “The Art of the Long View – Building and Working with Scenarios”

Scenarios do not want to predict the future. Instead they help us to conceive alternatives and be prepared for several different futures and deal with the risks and opportunities lying ahead of us. In this workshop, participants learned and exchanged on the different steps of a scenario-building process. The group will continue working together in an interdisciplinary, cross-border network of people involved in worker participation using the scenario method. The scenario lab is a follow-up of the scenario project “Worker Participation 2030”.

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EWPCC seminar: Sustainability – What does it mean for worker representatives and working conditions in retail?

A joint workshop of the ETUI and UNI-Europa focusing on sustainable working conditions in the retail sector took place on 5 June 2012 in Brussels. More than 30 worker representatives from the European retail sector participated in this workshop, which focused on new instruments for improving working conditions. Sustainability reporting practices, the methodology of rating agencies, the use of global framework agreements and the potential role of European Works Councils were discussed as potential tools for monitoring and improving working conditions in retail. The preliminary results of a study on reporting practices in the 50 largest European retailers were also presented.

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EWPCC Seminar "Financial analysis and business economics"

The EWPCC continues in its efforts to organise small-scale, interactive seminars, enabling a lively exchange between SE board-level employee representatives. Following a first experience focusing on the issue of confidentiality in March 2011, a second training session was organised from 7 to 9 March 2012. Board members from 10 different European Companies and 4 different EU Member States came to the training centre of Unite the Union in Esher, near London, to improve their understanding of the financial data they receive and the logic of the business economics that underlies this data.

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Changes at the EWPCC

In October 2012 Aline Hoffmann succeeded Bruno Demaître as Coordinator of the European Workers‘ Participation Competence Centre. Prior to joining the ETUI, Aline Hoffmann was Head of the EWC Team at the German Metalworkers’ Union IG Metall since 2001 and represented the IG Metall in the Company Policy Committee of the European Metalworkers’ Federation, now part of industriAll European Trade Union.

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European Scenario Workshop 'Worker Participation 2030'

The scenarios Worker Particiption 2030 undertake an adventurous exercise: casting a long look forward into the future, namely the year 2030. The aim of this European scenario workshop was to reflect and exchange on different environments in which worker participation might have to operate in the future. During the workshop, participants explored the four alternative futures of Worker Participation 2030, jointly reflected on their implications and exchange views on strategies and priorities for today.

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EWPCC conference 'SEs in stormy weather'

After Vienna in 2009 and Amsterdam in 2010, Warsaw was chosen as a location for the third annual conference for SE workers’ representatives, experts and trade union coordinators. During the second half of 2011, Poland held the chair of the European Council, confirming that they can no longer be considered a ‘new’ Member State, but rather as a fully integrated partner of the European Union. More than 60 participants attended the conference, which was organised in cooperation with the Hans Böckler Foundation, the Polish office of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Polish trade union confederations Solidarność and OPZZ.

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EWPCC Workshop on training tools for sustainable development and the analysis of financial data

Succeeding previous initiatives, the EWPCC and the ETUI Education department organised a third workshop for experts and trainers of board-level employee representatives in Hamburg (26–28 October 2011). After discussions about the general need for training and cross-cultural aspects, the seminar focused on training tools for sustainable development and the analysis of financial data.

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EWPCC seminar on Confidentiality in Europe’s company boardrooms’

On 30 and 31 March 2011, a first interactive training was organised for SE board-level employee representatives. The purpose of this two-day seminar was to help worker representatives to deal with everyday problems related to information declared to be confidential. It was organised in a communicative and interactive style, allowing a lively exchange between the participants. Representatives from nine different companies and five different countries exchanged ideas and experiences, were informed about the regulations concerning the subject of confidentiality and discussed the relevant issues with trade union experts and practitioners.

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Conference: Final Call – Now Boarding! Expressing employees’ strategic interests in Europe’s company boardrooms and the EU Internal Market

This was a two day conference organised in Amsterdam by the European Workers Participation Competence Center (EWPCC) together with Stichting À Propos (NL) and the FNV (Dutch trade union federation). The purpose of the conference was to have a debate among worker representatives in European Companies (SEs) and other multinational companies 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. The financial crisis and the associated failure of theories on market discipline and shareholder capitalism create new challenges for strengthening the influence of employees and other stakeholders over multinational companies in transition.

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Seminar "European company law and corporate governance – importance for workers' board-level representatives in company boardrooms"

Venue: ACV-CSC Brussels – Rue de Trèves/Trierstraat 33 (Room 9) – 1040 Brussels

The European Worker Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) of the ETUI has begun a series of seminars designed to examine, in particular, the qualification requirements of board members representing the workforce of European (SE) and other Transnational Companies. On 2 and 3.6.2010 twenty board members serving as "non-executive directors" in 13 companies came to Brussels to receive information about recent developments in European Company Law and European Corporate Governance by the EU Commission and the European Parliament, as well as by European academic experts. Earlier seminars concerned important practical topics like information policy of worker representatives or subjects suitable for taking own initiatives, such as the "Sustainable company" against the background of climate change.

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Workshop "A European dimension to the training of workers’ boardroom representatives"

Venue: Helsingör, LO-skolen (Denmark)

The Education Department of the European Trade Union Institute and the European Worker Participation Competence Centre organised a workshop on ‘A European dimension to the training of employee board-level representatives’ from 17 to 19 March 2010 at LO-skolen, Helsingør, Denmark. The workshop gathered employee board-level representatives in SEs and MNCs, as well as representatives from training institutes connected to trade unions.

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Seminar "Importance and role of workers’ boardroom representatives for sustainable companies as a solution to climate change."

Venue: Jørlunde close to Copenhagen, conference centre of Dansk Metal

On the occasion of the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, ETUI’s European Worker Participation Competence Centre (EWPCC) together with the Hans Böckler Foundation (Germany) organised a seminar at the Metalskolen (Danish Metalworkers’ Training Centre), Jorlunde. This seminar was addressed to workers’ representatives in the boardrooms of transnational companies in Europe. Participants from eight companies and six countries learned about the concept of the ‘sustainable company’ and discussed how worker participation can use and foster the concept in company boardrooms.

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Conference "Corporate strategy and monitoring in the European Company (SE) at a time of crisis"

Venue: Vienna, Chamber of Labour

Second exchange of experience between workers’ representatives in SE boardrooms
Organised jointly by the Vienna Chamber of Labour, the Hans Böckler Foundation and the ETUI

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Workshop "Further training and other supportive measures for workers’ representatives in SE boardrooms"

Venue: Runö Kursgard, Akersberga/Sweden

Identifying the profile and the specific training and support needs of employee board-level representatives in MNCs and SEs was one of the objectives of a workshop organised by ETUI at the Runö Centre in Sweden. Representatives from national trade unions, trade union training centres and trade union-related foundations and institutes exchanged information about their practices and debated how resources, methods and materials could be made available and what kind of cooperation could be established within the framework of the EWPCC.

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Expert workshop on the impact of the Recast Directive on European Works Councils

On 25-26 February 2016 the ETUI's unit 'Europeanisation of industrial relations' organised a workshop focused on taking stock of the existing research on the impact of and of relevance for the changes introduced by the

Recast Directive on European Works Councils.

The workshop was attended by top experts and academics in the field and provided for a much needed overview of EWC research completed and ongoing in the past 5-8 years.

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Topics the EWPCC works on

Topics and researchers within the EWPCC

ETUI's resources for workers' participation

Reasearch networks for workers' participation