The ETUI project is a stock-taking exercise of the state of play of the right to information and consultation in Europe.

Based on recent studies on the implementation of Directive 2002/14/EC and other related 'social' Directives in the member states, as well as ECJ case law, the ETUI project addresses the effectiveness in practice of this fundamental workers’ right. Furthermore, the ETUI project tests the need for a harmonisation/ codification exercise of the information and consultation Directives foreseen in the still pending context of the simplification rolling programme 2006-2009 and the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda of the European Commission, followed by the concrete proposal for a ‘fitness check’ of EU legislation in selected policy fields as part of the 2010 Work Programme of the Commission 2010, COM (2010) 135 final.

The European Directives are a clear expression of the willingness to make employees citizens in their places of work. The same intention is reflected in the EU Charter of fundamental rights (referred to in the Lisbon Treaty) which gives information and consultation rights the status of a basic right of European citizens. However, information and consultation rights under Community law are currently some of the most fragmented in the EU legislative body. In total, more than 15 Directives deal with information and consultation in some kind of a general or specific sense. Such fragmentation creates confusion and legal insecurity both for workers and their representatives as well as for management, a situation that is compounded by the fact that most directives, what is more, are poorly implemented.

In 2005 the European Commission launched a programme on ‘better regulation’ focusing on the quality and effectiveness of EU legislation, in the context of which the Commission planned to codify a series of Directives. Only after two European Parliament resolutions of 2007 and 2009, has the European Commission, on the basis of an experts’ report (Ales 2007), foreseen, as part of its 2010 Work Programme, a ‘fitness check’ of three Directives: Directive 2002/14/EC on a general framework for information and consultation, Directive 2001/23/EC on the transfer of undertakings and and Directive 98/59/EC on collective redundancies.

Current ETUI research fields cover:

  1. Information and consultation in the realm of the Better Regulation process of the European Commission
  2. Information-consultation of workers in Europe: impact on the quality of workers' involvement in Europe
  3. Role of national and EU judgements in the development of definitions and implementation of information and consultation rights, role and impact of more recent directives - interrelations between EU directives with a direct or indirect aim of implementing information and consultation rights - need for harmonisation?
  4. Impact of the information-consultation Directive on the social dialogue in the member states: Results and prospects