European Company (S.E.)

The European company statute allows under certain conditions for the participation of employee representatives at board level of transnational companies. Similar to the negotiation of EWC agreements a Special Negotiation Body would need to be set up to conclude an agreement both on information and consultation at Europen level and the number and role of employee representatives on the board of the company.

Although we see little evidence that the European company will become a freqently used legal entity in the near future, EWC´s should be prepared for a possible conversion of their company. At the Austrian construction company Bauholding-Strabag, for example, management succeded to turn the existing EWC agreement into an information and consultation agreement for the European Company, although the European Company Directive provides for much stronger rights compared to EWC´s.

The following document are recommended to understand the possible functioning of a European company:

1. European Union law

EU Directive 2001/86/EC of 8 October 2001 supplementing the Statute for a European company with regard to the involvement of employees
EU Directive

EU Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001of 8 October 2001 on the Statute for a European company (SE)
EU Regulation

2. Presentations

The German Hans-Böckler-Foundation has produced a number of charts summarizing the key elements of the S.E. Directive.
Charts on Directive

3. Trade union documents

The European Metalworkers´ Federation has produced some guidlines for the negotiation of an agreement. Negotiations are expected to become more complex as for EWC´s as there is only a very limited number of seats on the board to represent all countries covered by the company.
EMF Guidlines

A similar checklist was published by Union Network International (UNI), which is internal industry federation was union representing salaried employees. UNI has also produced a background document on the European company.
UNI-Background information

Please revist this page for further updates.

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