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Table: ETUC demands and Commission proposal

Comparative table demands ETUC / proposal Commission







delete reference to “a procedure for information and consultation”



delete exemption for navy crews and ideological guidance undertakings



include the requirement to promote equality of men and women

yes : art. 6.2.b
balanced representation with regard to activities, category and gender


organise public register for all agreements




reduction threshold of 1.000 to 500 and from 150 to 100 employees for creation of an EWC



add the definition of information of the SE directive 2001/86

definition added, but not SE


change the definition of consultation in line with SE directive 2001/86

new definition, but not SE


controlling undertaking

precise the definition, including joint ventures, franchising...



establishment of a EWC

management must provide all necessary information for the opening of negotiations in good time, regardless of the responsibility of other parts of the group

yes : art. 4.4
all management boards shall be responsible for obtaining and transmitting to the parties concerned the information required


TUs must be entitled to request relevant information to ascertain whether or not a company is covered by the directive

no, but art. 4.4 management shall be responsible for transmiting to all parties concerned the information required


reduce the negotiation period to one year + max six months extension



establishment of a EWC

subsidiary requirements must apply if negotiations adjourned for 4 months



no grouping or indirect representation



add the right to have substitutes for the SNB and the EWC



introduce the right for the SNB to meet without management before and after the meetings, with experts

yes : art. 5.4 before and after any meeting the SNB shall be entitled to meet, without managment being present


no max. number of members of the SNB

yes : art. 5.2.b
but : min. 50 employees


introduce the right for TUs to initiate negotiations

no, but art. 5.2.b the competent workers’ organisations shall be informed of the compostion of the SNB and the start of the negotiations



access to all sites must be facilitated



introduce the right for EWC members to inform all employees and the resources to communicate with them

yes : art. 10.2 the members of the EWC shall inform the local representatives or the workforce as a whole
but : no resources to communicate


introduce the right to training, free time for this and costs covered by employer

yes : art. 10.4 in so far as this is necessary
but : costs ?


the EWC must have the right to determine the content of the training



include training provisions in body of the directive



content of the agreement

move experts and operating expenses from subsidiary requirements to article 6, content of the agreement




ensure that EWCs can take structural changes into account by enabling renegotiation or adaptation of the agreement

yes : art. 6.2.g and 13.3 the agreement shall determine the arrangements for amending it and the cases in wich it should be renegotiated, when the structure changes significantly management shall initiate negotiations


existing EWCs must have the opportunity to benefit from the improvements

no : art. 13.2 no general obligation to renegotiate existing agreements


introduce the obligation to open renegotiations upon request

yes : art. 13.3 but : only where the structure changes significantly


introduce transitional arrangements and abbreviated time frame for renegotiations

yes : art. 13.3
but : no abbreviated time frame


confidential information

limit the definition to personal data and company secrets



protection of employees

improve protection of representatives



give them the right to paid time off to pursue their duties

yes : art. 10.1 but not explicit
they shall have the means required to apply their rights stemming from the directive


protection of rights

guarantee legal proceedings : the right to go to court, costs paid by employer



management decisions must be abandoned if they violate information and consultation rights



sanctions must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive



ensure rules for collective decision-making in content of the agreement and fall-back procedure



link with other provisions

information and consultation procedure must be in parallel and iteratively on local, national and transnational level

yes : art. 6.2.c, 12.2 and 12.3
the agreement shall determine linking European/
national level, if no such arrangements : processes start at the same time


parties concerned must be able to communicate



subsidiary requirements
ordinary meetings

introduce the right to be apprised of reasons for a decision

yes : SR 1.a the EWC must obtain a response and the reasons for that response to any opinion they might express


at least two regular meetings per year



no max. number of members of a EWC

yes : max. was crossed out
but : min. 50 employees


include data protection, gender mainstreaming, anti-discrimination, policies for the integration of differently abled people, environment, safety & security and investments



introduce the right to an internal follow-up meeting



ensure interpretation for all meetings of EWC and select committee



ensure translation of written information

no, but information must be transmitted in such fashion as is appropriate


costs for interpretation and translation to be borne by the employer

yes : SR 7 but : only interpretation and unless otherwise agreed


lay the burdon to prove that an issue involves only one country with management



include decisions made in another country

no, although still in preamble (12)


subsidiary requirements
select committee

increase the maximum number of members of the select committee from 3 to 5

yes : SR 1.d
at most 5 members


select committee where the EWC has nine members or more

yes : SR 1.d provision “where its size so warrants” was crossed out


at least 4 meetings per year



provide the select committee with all the necessary facilities to meet and to communicate

yes : SR 1.d it must have the conditions enabling it to exercise its activities on a regular basis


subsidiary requirements
exceptional circumstances

a more precise definition of exceptional circumstances



more explicit and practicable provisions for extraordinary meetings cfr. 2001/86



add the right to a follow-up extraordinary meeting in case management does not act in accordance with the opinion



subsidiary requirements

remove the possibility to restrict to pay for more than one expert



experts must have the right to participate in all meetings and every part of the process



union recognition

TU representatives must be able to attend all meetings of the SNB

yes : art. 5.4
at the request of the SNB


TU representatives must have the right to participate in EWC meetings



no restriction for TU officials to become full members of an EWC


Source: Bruno Demaitre @ ETUI (Education) 2009

According to Commissioner’s Vladimir Spidla announcement during the EWC Conference organised by ETUC on 9-10. June 2008, the EC would announce the draft proposal officially at the beginning of July 2008. Indeed, on the 02/07/2008 the EC officially announced a Proposal for Directive of European Parliament and Council (revised Directive 94/45/EC). Compared to the Commission's original proposals for changes included in the Communication about the revision (February 2008, opening of the 2nd stage of consultation with social partners) the proposed amendments are much weaker.

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