25 years have passed since the introduction of European Works Councils into Community Law. 25 years and as many practices, debates and studies, having pointed out both the virtues and shortcomings of this deeply original institution in the landscape of professional relations; years of various questions that motivated the adoption in 2009 of a recast directive. Nevertheless, the construction of a shared vision of this transnational body remains a challenge that is always renewed, as this tool is created or adapted in an economic environment that has become highly variable.
It is this challenge that our activities around European Works Councils intend to take up FOR and WITH the actors of these bodies, HR managers leading these committees as representatives of employees from different countries.
European Works Councils constitute a transnational arena for representation in the face of national differences, they are by nature far from the “field” and their role is always uncertain within transnational groups. So we bet that it is possible:
- To build a shared representation of the body and its possible added value, always anchored in the specificities of the groups of companies considered
- To contribute subsequently to making the members of the body a working collective, capable of developing an activity that is both complementary and useful to those of the national social dialogue bodies
We have been pursuing these objectives for nearly 20 years through a range of activities that we consider complementary: working groups bringing together representatives of employees and management, intra- and inter-company training, European study projects, mutual learning activities, publications and information production, etc.
Independence and impartiality towards EWC actors are the key words of an approach based on a conviction: European social dialogue in companies is an essential factor for improving economic and social performance, while at the same time contributing to making Europe a reality. All these are essential reasons to rely on the creativity and autonomy of the actors of the European committees!
Managing transnational employee representation:
Thematic transnational workshops dedicated to the exploration by HR managers from various countries and sectors of issues related to the concrete functioning of European Committees subsequently shared with employee representatives within these bodies.
The EWC Club:
A club which 4 times a year aims to allow in France the exchange of practices and reflections between HR managers and employee representatives within the European Committees.
provided by IR SHARE, this bimonthly newsletter in 4 languages provides regular and independent information on European social news to the members of the European Committees.
The Leaders of the approach
Independent associative organization that aims to bring together all stakeholders in social transformations, present or planned: companies, trade unions, associations, academics, the media, experts and qualified people. It relies on its national and international network, which enables it to combine field approaches and European comparisons and to creatively link experiences conducted in companies or at local level with private and public regulations under construction at European level. In particular, ASTREES has developed recognized expertise at European level on issues related to restructuring and social dialogue and its actors. ASTREES has trained around fifteen European Works Councils and, since 2014, has organized with IR Share the training of European Works Councils of Safran, Sanofi, BNP- Paribas, ATOS, SCOR, Michelin, Veolia, Suez, etc. Moreover since 2015 ASTREES has been running an open network called Sharers and Workers alongside IRES dedicated to the social implications of the so-called collaborative economy.
IR Share is an independent non-political structure that provides information, analysis, training and advice in labour relations and labour law. IR Share aims to improve the understanding and practice of actors in European companies in the field of labour relations and labour law. IR Share works as a subcontractor of the Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer to write and edit the bimonthly journal Liaisons Sociales Europe. Since March 2010, IR Share has been the French correspondent for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound – Dublin Foundation) in order to monitor issues relating to social relations, restructuring and working conditions.
IR Share and Astrees launched, in 2011, the European Works Council Club which brings together European Works Council members from all sectors and trade union organizations to work on issues of common interest. It also includes a component made up of managers in charge of human resources. In addition to the training courses conducted alongside ASTREES, IR Share was also involved in training the members of the European Works Councils of Airbus, Bongrain, Eramet, Legrand, Generali, Aperam, Safran, Famar… IR SHARE is also the publisher of the European social news newsletter IR NOTES.