Under the leadership of Dennis Radtke, MEP (member of the EPP group, and German trade union IG BCE), the European Parliament’s Committee has adopted a report which commends the 1,200 existing European Works Councils - a major EU achievement - while acknowledging the many shortcomings that persist decades after the adoption of the first EWC Directive (1994). MEPs have requested the Commission’s submission of a revised proposal of the EWC Directive by 31 January 2024.

The European Parliament’s report is expected to be presented for adoption at a plenary meeting of the European Parliament planned on 16 January 2023. It includes recommendations aimed at ensuring timely and effective information and consultation of European employees’ representatives on strategic corporate decisions of a transnational nature. To secure that EWCs’ rights are complied with by multinational companies and enforceable before courts, it also sets out recommendations to improve penalties and ensure EWCs’ access to justice.

MEPs’ adoption of the report means that they give their voice to the demands that the entire European trade union movement has been voicing for years: make transnational social dialogue a reality and strengthen and reinforce EWC rights.

Trade unions and EWC members have been campaigning throughout Europe to say enough to EWCs being informed too late, too little and with no chance to influence management decisions before they are made.

Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe, said:

’’There will be no solution to the current crises, no Just Transition, and no fair and inclusive transformation of our industries without the full involvement of workers. No company decision that affects the future of European industry workers can be made without them having a say: “Nothing about us without us”.

We welcome MEPs’ support to secure the long-awaited improvement of EWC rights. Changes and challenges at the workplace are disrupting industries and the jobs of millions of European workers and it is EU policy-makers’ duty to deliver, NOW!”