25 March 2024

European employers call for support on the European Works Council Directive

On 22 March 2024, six European employers’ organisations, Ceemet, Eceg, EBF, Hotrec, Eurocommerce and BusinessEurope, adopted a joint statement on the revision of the European Works Councils (EWCs) Directive calling MEPs for a balanced approach in their work.

The revision of the European Works Councils Directive has been proposed by the European Commission, whereas the overwhelming feedback from companies operating EWCs is that their European works council operates well.

The signatories are calling for the discussions in the European Parliament to be based on the real companies’ evidence to support improvements in the operation of EWCs that are conducive to the development of a trust-based social dialogue culture in the concerned companies.

The proposal to revise the 2009 directive must respect the current role of this social dialogue body and not transform it into a co-decision-making body.

Therefore, the employers underline a number of key recommendations and concerns to be taken into account ahead of the upcoming vote in the European Parliament’s EMPL Committee scheduled on 3 April on the following issues:

  1. the definition of “transnational matters”
  2. the preservation of pre-existing agreements
  3. the notion of confidentiality
  4. resources and costs
  5. the role of mediation and conciliation for EWCs disputes
  6. reinforced consultation procedure
  7. representatives of employees
  8. right to request preliminary injunction