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Expert Group Workers' Voice

Expert group on "Workers' Voice and Good Corporate Governance in Transnational Firms in Europe"

European policies on company law and market creation pose challenges for workers’ voice. The Expert Group on Workers’ Voice and Corporate Governance is tasked with addressing this issue and to have forward-looking discussions about possible solutions and strategies. These discussions are aimed at improving the understanding of the practice and reality of workers’ voice in transnational firms. By assessing the practical evidence through the long-standing expertise of the members of the group and additional experts, a reassessment of the situation and current trends will emerge that hopefully goes beyond a mere legalistic and formalistic assessment of the current policy impasse. Informed by empirical research and theoretical consideration, deliberation within the group will address new scenarios and pathways. Ultimately, we aim to develop a conceptual framework on how to preserve and further develop core institutions of the European Social Model, focusing on the role of workers’ voice.

Three perspectives impact the conceptual discussion on workers’ voice in transnational firms in Europe:
-the perspective on the mode of Europeanization between liberalization and the
European Social Model;
-the perspective on local practices and their role in institutional change;
-the perspective on the relationship between corporate governance and the broader institutional framing of large corporations.

These different perspectives make the discussion more challenging, on the one hand, but also enrich the current discourse that is often trapped by arguments on legal definitions and the
protection of national standards and traditions, on the other.

The Expert Group on Workers’ Voice and Corporate Governance has the freedom and liberty to go beyond well-articulated positions and arguments that often dominate the policy discourse. The more the discussions are open for diversity, innovation and learning, the more effective they will be. The format of the discussions has the capacity to speculate and design future scenarios. All ideas and challenging thoughts will be noted and documented to use at a later stage. Most importantly, the members of the group have the expertise and experience to assess current trajectories and possible alternatives.

There is nothing inevitable in current policy developments within the EU and at the national level. But alternative developments will depend on new ideas and initiatives to overcome old stand-offs and make them happen.

The initial discussion paper can be found here. [586 KB]