18 June 2024

Ceemet addresses EPSCO Council on European Works Council

Ahead of EPSCO Council meeting on 20 June, Ceemet reiterated its position and expressed concerns with regards to the revision of European Works Council Directive.

In a letter sent on 17 June 2024, the employers of the MET industries insisted on the following:

Transnational matters

It is vital to provide clear and unambiguous definitions to avoid conflicts between companies and employees with regards to the matters which should be a subject to the consultation process. The proposed definition of “transnational matters” is very broad and vague which can result in legal uncertainty and very likely legal disputes. We fear that the ambiguity of the definition will not lead to further cooperation, but rather the opposite.

Protection of existing agreements

Ceemet does not support the deletion of Article 14 and the removal of the exemptions from the scope of the Directive 2009/38/EC. In our view, existing and well- functioning EWCs should be protected.


The current wording of the Directive that requires companies to justify a decision not to disclose certain information could have serious consequences, posing a risk of sensitive and business critical information becoming public. Therefore, it is vital to have strong confidentiality rules in place to ensure a safe space for consultation and dialogue between the company and its employees.

Consultation procedure

Moreover, the obligation of the management to provide a reasoned written response to an opinion adopted by the EWC creates an administrative burden that will not lead to improved information and consultation between the company’s management and the EWC but only lead to the hindering of the decision-making process in companies. Such an undue hindrance will inevitably lead to a loss in European companies’ competitiveness on the international market if they are unable to act with the same speed as their non-European competitors.

Legal costs

When it comes to the matter related to legal costs, Ceemet is of the opinion that it should be addressed on the national level. Member states already have mechanism in place regarding legal fees in case of legal disputes in courts and administrative proceedings. We would therefore want to strongly iterate our opposition for companies to finance opposing legal counsel in cases against themselves.

Alternative dispute resolution 

In our view, a revised EWC Directive should incentivize Member States to develop alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like expert facilitation and existing mediation practices, to avoid unnecessary court proceedings.