As more companies operate across Europe (or even globally) and face growing levels of restructuring, transnational and democratic representation of their workers’ interests is a top priority.

The worker-participation.eu website seeks to meet the increasing need for accurate and easily accessible information on issues related to transnational workers’ representation. It provides accurate and easily accessible information, data and commentary on worker information, consultation, and involvement in EU member states. Using this site, worker representatives, unions, and other stakeholders can equip themselves to effective handle issues about transnational worker representation.

This site includes vital materials concerning information and consultation via European Works Councils (EWCs), European Company (Societas Europaea) Works Councils (SEWCs), and European Company/European Cooperative Societies (SCEs); board-level employee representation; corporate governance and company law; sustainability and worker participation; European Social Dialogue; legislation and regulation; databases; networks; and more. By way of introduction, read our overview of the transnationalisation of worker participation in the EU.

Using this website

Colour coding is used to help you quickly locate what you are looking for in the various sections of the worker-participation.eu website. Our video on how to use the site will be arriving soon.

About this site

The worker-participation.eu website has operated since 2007. It has evolved in line with developments in the world of work and EU regulation, and their implications for worker participation and democracy. In 2023, the site’s ‘fitness-for-purpose’ was evaluated via a comprehensive consultation process with internal and external contributors and users. The ‘new look’ website is the result of these interactions and reflects its aim to be the premier site for information, data and commentary on worker participation, information, and consultation across the EU.

The worker-participation.eu website draws primarily on the work of the ETUI’s ‘Europeanisation of Industrial Relations’ Unit 1 researchers and expert networks run by Unit staff. The website also provides you with information on the EU-27 industrial relations backgrounds, which differ significantly from one Member State to another.

Where relevant, the website also provides information on and links to external sources and ETUI collaborators.

Who is this site for?

The worker-participation.eu website is designed as a European information platform. It can assist national and European practitioners of worker participation, their trade unions and experts but is also a key resource for political and policy institutions, academia, and the wider public.

What’s on this site?

The worker-participation.eu website is designed to provide users with access to what is happening at the national and EU level in the field of employees’ rights to information, consultation, and board-level representation, as well as insights into relevant developments on workplace instruments for workers within national industrial relations systems. In each main section, you will find brief commentaries on or links to:

  • definitions and descriptions of relevant forms of worker participation (e.g. European Works Councils, Board-level Employee Representation);
  • relevant EU regulation and national law and their revision;
  • special or specific topics about workplace participation instruments;
  • key networks;
  • publications (e.g. reports, legal cases, analyses, commentaries);
  • resources, including our databases;
  • key graphics about EU workplace participation instruments; and
  • historical overviews.

The worker-participation.eu website also provides you with unique information on the industrial relations backgrounds in each of the EU-27 Member States. The ‘Compare countries’ tool on the National Industrial Relations page enables a quick comparison of countries and their worker participation topics.

Why worker participation?

European worker and employer representation

Workers are represented through the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and European employers through BusinessEurope (former UNICE), UEAPME and CEEP. This table provides more details about and links to these bodies.

Representing European workers
Representing European employers

BusinessEurope is the European private sector employer organisation established in 1958. It counts 40 employer federations from 34 countries as members. Given that the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-size Enterprises (CEAPME) was excluded from the European social dialogue, BusinessEurope entered into a cooperation arrangement with it in 1998 in order that it also be included in the employers’ delegations.

CEEP deals with the activities of enterprises with public participation. CEEP was established in 1961.