2023 96 97 98 99 100  
2022 90 91 92 93 94 95
2021 84 85 86 87 88 89
2020 78 79 80 81 82 83
2019 72 73 74 75 76 77
2018 66 67 68 69 70 71
2017 60 61 62 63 64 65
2016 54 55 56 57 58 59
2015 48 49 50 51 52 53
2014 42 43 44 45 46 47
Submit your article

Issue № 36. February 2013

European Works Councils: A transnational communication ground for workers and management in multinational companies

Claudio Stanzani

President, SINDNOVA, the Italian Institute for Studies on Innovation and Change of Production and Labor Conditions (Rome).

In September 1994, the European Union issued Directive 94/45/EC, establishing the European Works Councils (EWCs). These are worker representation bodies in undertakings or groups of undertakings with more than one thousand employees within the boundaries of the European Union. The workers’ representatives, appointed by the trade union organizations or elected directly by the workers, sit on the EWCs and are entitled to meet at least once a year and to be informed and consulted in advance by central management on the company’s situation and developments, as well as in regard to any significant decision that may entail consequences for the workforce of the multinational group in at least two countries.

In 2009, with Directive 2009/38/EC, the directive of 1994 was reworked and strengthened in its definitions, in particular those of information and consultation, and in the rights of the EWC, in particular with regard to the role of the trade union, communication with the workers of the individual production sites, training of members, and expert assistance.

For over a decade, the EWCs have been a social dialogue model and procedure essential for good business governance in Europe. Over 1 200 EWCs representing around 18 million workers are established and functioning. Considering that there are, on average, 20 members in each EWC, at the present time over 24 000 worker representatives from all the EU member States, but in many cases also from EU candidate and non-EU countries, are involved in transnational procedures and meetings.

EWCs represent an extraordinary experience and a communication ground that is unique and one of its kind in importance. The quality of the communication is fundamental for the good functioning of the EWCs, and this concerns management (central and local), the EWC members, the union, and all the workers of the multinational group. It is a matter of whether to share or conceal information, include or discriminate, have dialogue or conflict, overcome or build prejudices, etc.


European Works Council, EWC, multinational company, information, consultation, workers’ representatives, European social model, European social dialogue, industrial relations, intercultural communication.

No material published in this journal may be reproduced in print or in electronic form without a link to "E-journal. Public Administrarion".
119991, Room A-710, Shuvalovskiy building, Lomonosov Moscow State University
(27/4, Lomonosovskiy Avenue); phone: +7 (495) 930-85-71
Copyright © 2015 SPA MSU