European Works Councils (EWCs) provide transnational information and consultation mechanisms for employee representatives in multinational companies (MNCs). By organising meetings between central management and employee representatives from the EU Member States in which the companies operate, the EWC builds a bridge between the headquarters where strategic decisions are made and the workplaces where these decisions have an impact on employees.
This report explores the efforts of the members in 10 EWCs to enhance these bodies for European company-level social dialogue. Looking at the developments in EWCs over a longer period of time gives an insight into how practices evolve and how they achieve their objectives. Based on the 10 longitudinal case studies, a comparative analysis explores the factors that can influence these developments and assesses in particular the impact of the 2008 economic and financial crisis and of the recast directive 2009/38/EC. Other factors, such as company characteristics and whether these can influence developments in the composition or functioning of EWCs, are also considered.