European Works Councils (EWCs) are a body representing interests of employees of multinational companies (MNC) towards central management. They are made of national representatives elected by workers from countries where an MNC has operations.
EWCs were originally a pragmatic response by the workforce of multinational companies (MNCs) to globalisation/Europeanisation. Developed in the 1980s by means of informal contacts between workers’ representatives from various European countries, these bodies soon proved themselves able to cater for the information and consultation needs of both the workforce and company management. Shortly thereafter, in 1994, the EWC directive (94/45/EC) was adopted, coming into force on 22/09/1996 and thereby institutionalising the concept of transnational worker representation structures. The Directive was modified in 2009 by a recast directive 2009/38/EC.