Parliamentary questions
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16 April 2007


pursuant to Rule 108 of the Rules of Procedure

by Martin Schulz, Kader Arif, Harlem Désir, Glyn Ford, Stephen Hughes, Willi Piecyk, Inés Ayala Sender and Matthias Groote, on behalf of the PSE Group

to the Commission

  Subject: Stronger European legislation in the field of information and consultation of workers

The European Works Council (EWC) Directive, adopted in 1994, gave millions of European workers the right to information and consultation on company decisions at EU level through their EWC representatives. The initial Directive was adopted following the failure of the social partners to reach an agreement. Thirteen years on, there is still a long way to go before the legislation meets its full objectives.


In recent years, there have been many cases of companies carrying out major restructuring without consultation, in defiance of the spirit of this important Directive. At present, there are few if any penalties for companies that defy the Directive.


In light of the evidence of these shortcomings, how will the Commission reinforce the information and consultation of workers at European level?


When does the Commission plan to propose a clearer definition of information and consultation, to improve training and access to expert advice for workers' representatives, to introduce sanctions for companies breaching legislation or to allow access by EWC members to company sites?


What does the Commission plan to do to ensure that companies in the EU respect their social and financial responsibilities, act in a corporately responsible way and are fair to all stakeholders (workers, local and regional authorities, etc.) and communities where they are based and are not looking only to maximise profits?



Tabled: 16.04.2007

Forwarded: 18.04.2007

Deadline for reply: 25.04.2007

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