“ News ”

14th December 2016

Get our EWC Toolkit !

In response to the challenges which European Works Councils still have to face despite the improvements of 2009, Syndex has designed a toolkit to support workers’ representatives in concluding better EWC agreements with management.

EWCs are unique

Now in existence for 20 years, European Works Councils remain under constant scrutiny. On the one hand, EWCs are unique:

  • As senior management and European workers’ representatives meet regularly to exchange information and conduct consultations on key economic, production and social issues, EWCs give workers the opportunity to influence company strategy before final decisions are made

  • With strategic decision-making power shifting from local to European, if not global, management, EWCs help to ensure that dialogue takes place with decision-makers at the appropriate level

  • EWCs constitute a unique place where workers’ representatives from all over Europe can meet, discuss and develop European solidarity as well as coordinated trade union responses to company strategies which, all too often, aim at pitting production sites and workers against each other, across borders.

Achieving the consultation of workers' representatives

On the other hand, however, even though improvements can be seen in the 2009/38/EC recast directive , and in some cases in the quality of information provided to workers, we are still a long way from improving the quality of the agreements signed and from achieving the effective consultation of workers’ representatives.

In response to these challenges, this toolkit has been designed by Syndex with the financial support of the European Institutions to support workers’ representatives (Special Negotiating Bodies, EWCs and trade unions) in concluding better EWC agreements with management.

>> Get to know more and find EWC documentation on our platform

>> Discuss and contribute with us to our EWC group on LinkedIn !

>> Download your toolkit in your language in our useful links (on the right)


EWC toolkit has been designed with the  financial support of the European  Institutions

Removing legal uncertainty

Particular attention has been paid to the new rights and obligations enacted in the 2009 directive in support of the renegotiation of agreements and encouraging the adoption of linkage processes between national and European information and consultation bodies.

Several concepts – such as “information” and “consultation” – have been clarified, removing the legal uncertainty surrounding them.

Overcoming national cultural and legal barriers is also possible: the toolkit provides a short and useful comparison of industrial relations systems in Europe with a view to promoting our understanding of them and how they interact.

Effective training to be proactive

Finally, in order to get workers’ representatives to adopt a more proactive approach to their European mandate, several exercises are proposed for EWCs to train and improve their functioning.

With this toolkit, workers’ representatives will be better equipped to stand up for their rights and influence management decisions towards achieving social progress.

Setting up an EWC is complex. This toolkit has been issued to help worker’s representatives who wish to set up a European Works Council (EWC) or to revise their agreement.

It is also made for EWC members who wish to improve the coordination between national and European bodies of worker participation. Linking processes and actions at national and European levels to ensure efficiency is a real challenge that should be tackled in the interest of all.

This toolkit is the outcome of a two-year Commission-funded project for training EWC members and trade union officers called “Working together for European recovery: workers’ involvement in companies’ future as a cornerstone.” It has been managed by Syndex in partnership with the ETF, EPSU, IndustriAll Europe and UNI Europa. Additionally, for more information on EWCs and multinational companies, the European Trade Union Federations have adopted guidelines and policy papers that are available on their respective websites. 





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