WPEurope logo

In London (UK) on the 30th-31st of March 2017, the Workers' Participation Europe network was created. The network originated from the SEEurope expert network, which decided to change its name to better reflect the thematic evolution of tasks and research interest of the network.

In April 2017, during its meeting in London, the SE Europe network resolved to change its name to 'Worker Participation Europe network'. The change of name shall better reflect the evolution in the network's composition, interests and research backgrounds that go beyond the narrow focus on European Company (SEs) and workers' representation therein. Apart from the change of name the networks activities and operation remain unchanged.

The SEEurope Network – organized by the European Trade Union Institute – was founded in 2003 to observe the transposition of the SE legislation and its practical impact on businesses and industrial relations. The network involves legal, economic and industrial relations experts from the European Economic Area (EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein). Over the years the network has produced a broad range of publications, including country reports, case studies and topical reports. From the beginning, the research and monitoring has been conducted with a view to also meeting the needs of practitioners in Europe involved in the founding of an SE.

The project began by observing the transposition of the European legal obligations into national law, a process which had to be completed by the end of October 2004. Since that time the focus has shifted more towards observing companies which have set up or are planning to establish an SE.

WPEurope pursues a twofold aim:

  • To monitor the transposition of the European Company and specific instances of its implementation. The relevant European legislation (SE Statute together with the SE Directive on employee involvement) provides for compulsory worker involvement, including – where applicable – participation at board level. By offering workers the opportunity to influence company decisions, the establishment of an SE thereby opens up a new form of cross-border responsibility for workers and their trade unions.
  • To develop, for the purposes of future research, the interface between worker involvement in company decision-making and shaping of the future European Social Model.

Further, WPEurope seeks to improve workers' negotiating position by offering information on existing systems of worker involvement in an effort to improve understanding among worker and trade union representatives. Accordingly, WPEurope sees its role as to take part in the process of ongoing political communication on these issues within the ETUC sphere.

The predecessor: The SEEurope Network

The SEEurope network was set up in 2004 by the ETUI to monitor the establishment and evolution of the then newly created corporate form.

The SEEurope has been a network project under the leadership of the ETUI that involved legal, economic and industrial relations experts from basically all countries in which European Companies (SEs) can be set up.

The project started in 2004 by observing the transposition of the SE legislation into national law. Since that time the focus has shifted towards monitoring the practice of establishing SE with a specific focus on employee involvement. Moreover, the network has been dealing with related European initiatives in the field of company law and corporate governance. Major topics in this respect are the pending European Private Company (SPE), the cross-border mergers directive and the (planned) directive on cross-border transfer of seat. Analytically, SEEurope aims to investigate the contribution made by worker participation towards a Europeanisation of industrial relations and the integration of a social perspective into company management.

The SEEurope network meets at least twice a year to discuss recent developments at both European and national level. It has produced a broad range of publications, such as country reports, case studies and topical articles.

In the recent years the profile of the SEEurope network has expanded beyond exclusively the SEs and started to cover European Works Councils, board-level employee representation created via other ways than setting up of SEs, corporate governance issues and other topics related to workers' participation and Europeanisation of industrial relations. The composition of the network changed too.

Worker Participation Europe (WPE) Network Members

Project coordination: Aline Hoffmann

NameFirst nameInstitutionCountry reporter
ApostoiuLiviuNTUC CARTEL ALFARomania
AzandaIevaSpigulis, Kukainis & AzandaLatvia
BiermayerThomasMaastricht UniversityNetherlands
CatteroBrunoUniversitá del Piemonte Orientale (Alessandria)Italy
Lafuente HernandezSaraETUI (Brussels)Belgium
CremersJanAmsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour StudiesNetherlands
DemaitreBrunoIndustriAll EuropeEWPCC
De SpiegelaereStanUNI EuropaBelgium
DohertyMichaelNational University of IrelandIreland
EriksonMerleUniversity of TartuEstonia
FioriniLukeCentre of Labour StudiesMalta
FrancaValentinaUniversity of PrimorskaSlovenia
FultonLionelLabour Research Department United Kingdom
GabathulerHeinzUniversität ZürichSwitzerland
GagawczukWalterArbeiterkammer WienAustria
GahleitnerHelmutArbeiterkammer WienAustria
GoldMichaelRoyal Holloway University of LondonUnited Kingdom
González BegegaSergioUniversity of Oviedo - Department of sociologySpain
HagenInger MarieFafoNorway
HammermannBernd Liechtenstein
HeuschmidJohannesHugo Sinzheimer Institut für ArbeitsrechtGermany
HorakHannaUniversity of RijekaCroatia
VoskeritsianHorenCIRN, (Athens University of Economics and Business)Greece, Cyprus
JagodzinskiRomualdLabour HousePoland
JauhiainenMariaUnion of Professional Engineers in Finland (UIL)Finland
KöstlerRolandHans Böckler Foundation (Düsseldorf)Germany
KravaleSigitaBorenius – Attorneys at LawLatvia
LafontainePhilippe Portugal
MulderBernard JohannUniversity of Oslo - Faculty of LawSweden
NaumannReinhardFriedrich Ebert Stiftung BuroPortugal
NavrbjergSteen E.FAOS, University of CopenhagenDenmark
AttilaDr KUNNational Employment Office, Research Unit LabourHungary
OddssonHalldórlögfræðingur hjá ASÍIceland
ParkerJaneETUI Belgium
LassePützHans Böckler Foundation (Düsseldorf)Germany
RehfeldtUdoIRES (Paris)France
RibarovaEkaterinaInstitute for Social and Trade Union Research at the CITUBBulgaria
RosenbohmSophie-CharlotteRuhr-Universität BochumGermany
SickSebastianHans Böckler Foundation (Düsseldorf)Germany
SelbergNiklasLund UniversitySweden
SkupienDagmaraUniversity of Lodz, Faculty of Law and AdministrationPoland
StolltMichael Belgium
StranskyJaroslavCzech Moravian Confederation of Trade UnionsCzech Republic
TelljohannVolkerIRES Emilia-RomagnaItaly
ThillPatrickCentre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques / International Network for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development (CEPS / INSTEAD)Luxembourg
LenaertsKarolienWork and Organization Unit, HIVA-K.U.LeuvenBelgium
Van het KaarRobbertUniversity of AmsterdamNetherlands
VitolsSigurtSocial Science Research Center Berlin / Associate Researcher ETUI Belgium
WaddingtonJeremyManchester Business SchoolUnited Kingdom
WernerFrankUniversity of Konstanz (Department of Politics and Management)Germany
KasiliauskasNerijusLaw Firm TRINITI LTLithuania

Former SE Europe Network members

BaumannHansEuropean Institute of Construction Labour ResearchSwitzerland
BruunNiklasHanken School of Economics and Business AdministrationSweden
HojnikJanjaLaw Faculty, University of Maribor SloveniaSlovenia
KelemenMelindaAssociated researcher of SEEurope project of ETUI (Brussels)SE Database
KlugeNorbertETUI (Brussels) - European Workers' Participation Competence CentreFounder of the SE-Europe Network
KöhlerHolm-DetlevUniversity of Oviedo - Department of sociologySpain
MudaMerleUniversity of Tartu, Law FacultyEstonia
O'KellyKevin P.Associate Researcher ETUI (Brussels)Ireland
PulignanoValeriaCentre for Sociological Research (CESO, Belgium)
RizzoSaviourCentre for labour studies, University of MaltaMalta
SelbergNiklasFaculty of Law at Lund UniversitySweden
TriangleLucIndustriALL – European Trade Union (Brussels)
ZukalovaDagmarZukalova - Counselors At LawSlovak Republic
DavulisTomasVilnius University Law FacultyLithuania

SEEurope Research Network