Employee Involvement in Decision-Making: European Attempts at Harmonization

Part I of this note examines the sources of Community power over employment policy. Part II analyzes two Community directives approximating laws regarding employee involvement in dismissal procedures. It also examines the impact of these Community directives on two Member States, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) and the United Kingdom. The note focuses on the FRG because its statutes have served as the model for Community directives, and because the harmonization of laws throughout the Community will provide unique benefits to the FRG. The note examines the United Kingdom because its government has historically had a limited impact upon worker-management relations, and compliance with Community directives often involves significant alteration to existing statutes. Part III focuses on Community proposals that would directly involve employees in the management of the enterprise. It considers the obstacles to implementation of these proposals and the potential for adoption. The note argues that the directives which have been adopted illustrate the concern of the Community and its awareness that further action is necessary. It concludes, however, that the directives do not offer significant protection to Community workers. Although the proposals for participation in management are promising, political obstacles are likely to block implementation.