European Works Councils: Challenges Facing Multi-National Employers Doing Business throughout Europe

Date(s) of Presentation
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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Program Description

Employees who work for large multinational companies that operate in more than one country of the European Union have a right to ask for the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC). The EWC Directive (94/45/EC) applies to all companies or groups with at least 1,000 workers located in the European Economic Area (EEA) and that have a minimum of 150 employees working in each of two or more EU states. In such a situation, a company is faced with the prospect of having to simultaneously deal with two works councils at once: both the EWC and a local works council governed by national law. This is on top of having to negotiate with one or more trade unions. Experts from throughout Europe will address the most important legal challenges facing these employers and offer concrete and practical solutions including:

  • Which companies are covered by the EWC?
  • How are EWCs established?
  • Best practices for responding to a request for an EWC
  • The operation/governing laws of an EWC
  • How to work effectively with both the EWC and the national works councils operating at your facility and how responsibilities and rights get divided between them
  • What types of issues typically arise and how to effectively balance and resolve conflicts among the trade unions , the EWC, and the national works council


  • Jan Tibor Lelley, moderator, Buse Heberer Fromm, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Sanna Alku, Castren & Snellman, Helsinki, Finland
  • Alessandra Deganis, Grimaldi Studio Legale, Milan, Italy
  • An Van Doorselaer, Lydian, Brussels, Belgium       
  • Ghislain Frerejacques, Fromont Briens, Paris, France
  • Katalin Furedi, Gardos, Furedi, Mosonyi, Tomori, Budapest, Hungary
  • Sasha Stepanova, Kocián Šolc Balaštík, Prague, Czech Republic