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Revision of the Directive on European Works Councils

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) welcomes the agreement reached at the meeting of the European Parliament on the revision of the European Works Council Directive (94/45/EC).

The members of the European Parliament agreed at the Plenary Session held in Strasbourg on amendments to the recast directive on European Works Councils, which was unveiled by the European Commission in July as part of the new social agenda.

The basis for the now-approved text was agreed upon by the European social partners on August 29th, 2008, presented as the so-called joint advice. The joint advice represents a balanced proposal with compromises made by all stakeholders. After extended discussions, the joint advice paved the way for a rapid adoption of the directive, which was of critical importance in ensuring that no additional burdens are imposed on businesses.

Around 820 European Works Councils are currently in operation, of which at least 130 are of American parentage, representing some 14.5 million workers in total. The benefits of European Works Councils are based upon flexibility that enables company-specific and tailor-made agreements.

AmCham Germany welcomes the agreement as a complete success that guarantees planning security and transparency for future activities by companies. The now-adopted directive maintains its useful effect and secures the continued competitiveness of our European operations. The structure of European Works Councils is flexible enough to negotiate successful agreements while preserving rapid decision-making processes, thereby facilitating increased competition in the global economy.

Press release as Pdf file