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Revision of European Works Councils: need for more effective enforcement and functioning

03 април 2024 12:35, Людмила Калъпчиева
Излъчване: Туида Нюз преди 3 месеца, брой четения: 232
European Parliament

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted a report aiming to improve social dialogue in the EU by strengthening the role, capacity, and functioning of European Works Councils.

 

European Works Councils (EWCs) are bodies representing European employees of a multinational company that ensure that employees are involved in decisions related to transnational issues.

 

EWCs were originally introduced through a Directive in 1994 and updated in 2009. The new proposal brings several changes, amongst others by:

 

clarifying the definition of transnational matters;

enhancing consultation requirements;

improving gender-balance by aiming to make sure that 40% of the seats on an ECW are allotted to members of either gender;

specifying the treatment or non-transmission of confidential information;

specifying provisions on penalties and modalities of access to justice.

 

In their report, MEPs strengthen the provisions on sanctions by including financial sanctions and the possibility to be excluded from entitlements to public benefits, aids or subsidies for a period of three years. To ensure effective enforcement of the directive, MEPs also believe that member states should make sure that adequate administrative and judicial procedures are available and easily accessible.

 

The report was adopted with 28 votes in favour, 7 against and 8 abstentions.

 

Quote

 

Rapporteur Dennis Radtke (EPP, DE), said: “European Works Councils play a crucial role promoting democracy at work. While generally EWCs have been a success story, the Directive from 2009 has some shortcomings that we are now addressing. We will ensure timely information and consultation processes, clear definitions of transnational matters, better access to justice in case of non-compliance and call on member states to establish effective and dissuasive sanctions. Finally, existing agreements don't need to be fully renegotiated, but only have to be adapted to fulfil the new requirements."

 

Next steps

 

The draft report adopted today has to be adopted by Parliament in one of the upcoming plenary sessions or will be dealt with by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.

 

Background

 

In February 2023, Parliament adopted a legislative report, calling on the Commission to revise the 2009 Directive on European Works Councils by 31 January 2024 and to strengthen the role of EWCs. The new Commission proposal was presented on 24 January 2024.