Year: 2023
Social policy

Common Advocacy Plan

Board-level employee representation (BLER) is an important element of industrial relations in EU countries. BLER is a form of workplace democracy involving the election of representatives in large companies to supervisory boards or company boards to represent the interests of employees and the public good, including the environment.  This solution can be seen as a response to contemporary challenges such as democratic deficits, social inequalities, the dispersion of decision-making centres, the climate crisis, the digitalisation and automation of work, as well as the fragmentation of labour markets and the COVID-19 crisis.

The report begins with a concise introduction to the issue of BLER, including a definition of this participatory mechanism and an indication of its main determinants in the European context. This is followed by an analysis of BLER legislation and practices in the project countries. This is all the more important as there is no single European model of participation: different solutions have been adopted in the various Member States regarding the personal scope of the obligation to provide employees with opportunities for BLER and the principles of its functioning. In addition, the broader context of participation varies across the countries analysed, determined by factors such as the national collective labour relations model, the level of socio-economic development or membership or non-membership of the European Union. The analysis covers not only the general structural features of national BLER systems, but also the benefits of its presence from the perspective of employees and employers and the wider public interest, the constraints and challenges of participation, examples of good practice in its application, and the issue of the qualifications and skills that employee representatives should possess when sitting on management and supervisory bodies of companies. 

The diagnostic section is followed by a chapter devoted to recommendations for changes in both national legislation and practices for the application of BLER, formulated for the countries covered by the project, taking into account the current differences between them in this area. This is followed by an outline of advocacy activities, i.e. aimed at spreading awareness of BLER and encouraging various stakeholders (including, in particular, social partners and public policy makers) to strengthen and expand this mechanism. Separately, those activities that have already been or are yet to be undertaken within the framework of the BLER 2.0 project are described, and separately, future possible initiatives beyond the framework of this project are recommended, broken down at European Union, national and sectoral and company level.

This report has been produced within the framework of the project 'BLER 2.0. Strengthen board-level participation', co-financed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, in order to outline an action plan for the promotion of employee participation in management (PPZ) in seven countries: Bulgaria, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.



E-mail address the publication will be sent:
Subscribe newsletter