European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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European Framework for Information and Consultation

The European framework for information and consultation represents a long and tedious climb towards democracy in Europe. Although recognised as fundamental social rights, information and consultation rights remain the 'poor relation' of EU social legislation.




The Directive 2002/14/EC of 11 March 2002 established a general framework from 2005 onwards (the deadline of its transposition in the Member States) in relation to the information and consultation of workers in the European Community. This piece of legislation thus represents a substantial contribution to the consolidation of Community social law in the area of information and consultation of workers. Indeed, it is the first EU directive to make widespread the obligation to inform and consult workers in the European Union and thus represents an indispensible complement to the existing but fragmented Community measures on workers’ right to information and consultation in specific types of company situation. Additionally, a large range of Directives includes workers’ rights to information and consultation not only in specific situations such as the transfer of undertakings, or in cases of collective redundancy, but also in Directives on health and safety or in those related to the role of workers and their representatives in corporate governance, such as the SE Directive.

The architecture of the Community law on information-consultation has been strongly influenced by the national labour law of those continental countries which traditionally have provision for information and consultation rights. On the other hand, social Community law, European business law, as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union’s rulings (CJEU) influence national rules on the information, consultation and representation of workers in national and European companies. The ETUI research project on the right to information and consultation in Europe addresses these issues by analysing information and consultation in the context of the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ process and screening the impact of information and consultation on the quality of workers' involvement in Europe.


 Authors: A. Hoffmann & R. Jagodzinski (design + contents)