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EESC opinion: Employee influence and participation

EESC opinion: Employee influence and participation

Key points

  • Overcoming the crisis in the interests of all stakeholder groups, investors, employers, employees and regions requires joint efforts and shared goals (such as long-term business development) and the existence of a good social dialogue.
  • The EESC would like to encourage the exploration of new paths in this area, not least in connection with the EU corporate governance framework.
  • The EESC is convinced that "good" and thus "sustainable" business management must be built on the internal market's legal structures and practices of employee involvement based on information, consultation and, where applicable, co-determination too.
  • The EESC is launching a discussion on the "sustainable company" as a business management concept. This entails, among other things, that the "voice" of employees is respected in business decisions, and a "fair relationship" between employees, management and owners.
  • A set of tools already exists for the obligatory involvement of employee representatives at national and European level, which should be used effectively.
  • The EESC feels it is also incumbent on European policy-makers to create appropriate incentives and to improve the requisite European legal framework, without interfering with national competences.
  • The EESC is therefore putting forward proposals for implementing the current basic European right to employee involvement in national law and for formulating it more effectively in European law.
  • The provisions on obligatory employee involvement should be consolidated and applied generally in EU law, on the basis of standards already achieved, and in particular definitions of information, consultation and participation should be standardised.
  • A provisional new stage in this debate is marked by the European Parliament's resolution of 15 January 2013 that calls for a legal framework with minimum standards for restructuring in order to minimise social and economic costs and promote anticipation. It will also entail measures geared towards maintaining jobs and the workforce and provisions which encourage businesses to engage in preventative cooperation.