European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Panel 3 - Company mobility fueled by digitalisation and Europeanisation: how can we shore up workers’ rights?

Wednesday 27 June 2018 - 14:00-15:30 room: Netherlands II

Digitalisation opens up new avenues for companies to move across borders; this mobility is already one of the driving forces behind the Europeanisation of the economy. This trend is further driven by decisions by the European Court of Justice to foster the free movement of capital and services, and the incremental revision of national systems of company law: all of these factors combine to make it much easier for companies to shift their regulatory "residency" through cross border mergers and cross-border transfers of their registered seat, thereby (at least partially) removing their governance systems from the legal framework of the country in which they were previously anchored. The landmark Commission proposal for an EU company mobility package, which was published at the end of April 2018, attempts to capture and regulate these developments, and is thus expected to exacerbate this trend even further. How can a high uniform standard be defined and implemented in the face of a baffling array of national specificities? How can we discourage company mobility on the basis of "low road" strategies seeking to avoid labor standards, workers’ participation rights, and appropriate taxation? The panel will discuss these question in detail, asessing the Commission’s Company Mobility Package, summarizing the contributions of a forthcoming book on Cross Border Mergers in the EU (Cremers and Vitols) and presenting initial findings from a new study on cross-border company mobility in the EU (Thomas Biermeyer and Marcus Meyer).

  • Laura Horn, University of Roskilde
  • Marcus Meyer, University of Maastricht
  • Paige Morrow, NYU-HEC Public Interest Law Clinic
  • Wolfgang Kowalsky, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Sigurt Vitols, European Trade Union Institute

Moderator: Aline Hoffmann, European Trade Union Institute

Further readings:

Lux leaks scandal show why tax avoidance is a bad idea

Three years after Rana Plaza. Progress on corporate social responsibility remains slow