European Works Councils

Reiner Hoffmann ([email protected])
Sec: Barbara Boyle ([email protected])
Tel: +32 2 2240428
fax: +32 2 2240582

Around 10 million workers across the EU have the right to information and consultation on company decisions at European level through their EWCs. The Works Council Directives apply to companies with 1,000 or more employees, including at least 150 in two or more Member States.

The first EWC Directive, dating back to 1994 (94/45/EC), allowed the establishment of some 850 EWCs, covering around 60% of workers in the EU. In order to improve and update the existing legislation for it to fully meets its objectives, the ETUC and the European Trade Union Federations engaged in an active campaign, following which the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on a new EWC recast Directive (2009/38/EC). It entered into force in May 2009 and is fully operational since June 2011.

You will find more information on the following websites developed by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI): ; European Works Councils. The website of the Social Development Agency also contains information concerning recent EWC related activities run on behalf of the ETUC and ETUFs.

The ETUC supports EWC representatives, for example through education and language courses run by ETUI Education Department and via the INFOPOINT project.

The Database of European Works Council Agreements ( has been developed by the ETUI in cooperation with the Infopoint project (supported by the European Commission) for a number of years. It contains the analysis of EWC agreements from copies of signed originals in several languages .

Consult PARL the ETUC newsletter to find out about workers’ information and consultation rights in Europe.

To consult the trade union guide to directive 2009/38/EC please click here