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Day after day, all news on the web about employee share ownership

  September 2016 - Economic freedom

A remarkable research work reports a strong correlation between employee ownership incidence and the index of economic freedom.

The author, Ricardo Machado of Porto School of Management (Portugal), aims to understand the determinants of the implementation of economic democracy, measured by the incidence of employee share ownership plans, within the European Union countries.

The full  publication about "The Determinants of Employee Ownership Plan Implementation in EU Countries - the Quest for Economic Democracy" is available for download here.


  June 2016 - European Conference on employee ownership policies

The European Conference on European policies for employee share ownership was held in Brussels on May 19, 2016.
The Conference supports the project of a European Action Plan to raise awareness about the benefits of employee ownership and participation in Europe.
The Final Report of the Conference and all materials are now available for download here


  June 2016 - Barometer of employee share ownership policies in European countries

The mass development of employee share ownership brings better motivation, productivity, profitability, higher growth, more and better jobs. This is good for all. But it depends on policy will to initiate the virtuous circle through appropriate fiscal incentives.
After 2008, some European countries took negative decisions, removing or decreasing fiscal incentives, which led to a decline of the number of employee shareholders. Some other European countries took the opposite way, applying new or higher incentives, which led to a higher number of employee shareholders.
All these policy decisions in various European countries, in a positive or a negative way, can be summarized through a single dedicated tool.
This is the reason of the setting up of the EFES "Barometer of employee share ownership policies in European countries".
Before 2009, the barometer showed a continuous increase, practically all policy decisions being positive. A negative phase occurred from 2009 to 2013. Since then, most policy decisions are positive again.
   


More information

More information and download

  April 2016 - Employee share ownership in SMEs
A first reliable study about employee share ownership in French SMEs was published last month. It is well known that employee share ownership in SMEs is underdeveloped in Europe, especially compared to the USA. This is due to the remarkable effectiveness of the ESOP model, in use in the USA for over 40  years, but not in Europe. The usual evaluation of the number of employee shareholders in SMEs is 1 million in Europe compared to 10 million in the US. The new study, ordered by Eres and BDO, brings the number of 250.000 in France, which confirms the former usual evaluations. More information

  January 2016 - French crusade
All actors of employee share ownership in France met for their "Grand Prix" on 15 December in Paris. They all agreed to launch a new "crusade" for employee share ownership in France. Several governments in the European Union chose for higher fiscal incentives, considering employee share ownership as an investment for the future and a key for recovering from the European crisis. So did the UK and Austria recently. The example is also coming from the USA, with employee ownership being one of the themes of the presidential election campaign. France should get back to the same way.

 
January 2016 - Formidable engine
Assets held by the employee owners in Europe were never so high: 370 billion Euro and more than 3% of the capital of all large European companies in 2015. This is more than 45,000 € per person  (more than 25,000 € if executive directors are excluded). Thus, even through the European crisis, employee share ownership is a formidable engine to share in results and growth, - assets per person have more than doubled since 2009. This is the first indication from the next "Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership in European Countries" to be published in March 2016. More information

  December 2015 - Employee share schemes statistics provoke wide debate in the UK
The latest published share scheme statistics has sparked off a major debate over how best to rejuvenate UK employee share ownership, following the British ESOP Centre (see press review). "The UK has perhaps the best employee share plan legislation in the world", but it is still far from Mrs Thatcher aspiration, 30 years ago, for a Britain where owning shares would be "as common as having a car".
Now after 30 years of legislation in the UK and in France, the facts have spoken: Employee share ownership is twice more significant in France; this is where the employee share plan legislation was most effective. This is probably due to the fact that employee share plans in France are based on (blocked) shares, while they are essentially based on share options in the UK. As we already mentioned some time ago, after a spectacular football match: France-UK: 2-1



  November 2015 - Italian Post: Missed opportunity
The Italian government offered 40% of the shares of the Italian Post, on which 1.13% reserved for employees. Results of the IPO are very satisfactory for the Italian State, collecting 3.4 billion euros, with total demand exceeding 4 times the offer. Employees have received half of the reserved shares: 26,234 employees subscribed, less than 20% of all employees of the Italian Post. In an open letter, the CISL union had put forward its own draft collective ownership, combined with community representation of employees on the German model. The Italian Government did not want to go that way, nor did it choose for a real employee share ownership plan supported through fiscal incentives.  Yet will there be IPO bonuses for 12 top executives, up to half of their annual salary. Comparison: The British Government put Royal Mail on the stock market two years ago, while awarding a 10% stake for free to the 150,000 employees of the British Post.
The open letter of the CISL

  October 2015 - Employee share ownership is not a cuckoo
A dangerous and irritating situation is occurring about employee share ownership within the OECD. The OECD suggests that ESOPs and employee share ownership should be discouraged because putting all employees' eggs in the same basket, especially considering pension savings. The principle of diversification applies to employee share ownership as to any other financial investment. It is illustrated by the aphorism "do not put all eggs in one basket."
However, employee share ownership is not just a financial investment. It also has the character of an industrial investment. This character is most evident when the employees' stake  reaches 100% of the company's capital, which is the typical case of employee share ownership in SMEs. However, it is also present, although more incidentally, to the minority employee share ownership in large companies.
If the aphorism of eggs and basket frequently applies to the diversification of financial investments, another aphorism applies better to industrial investment:  "The bird lays all eggs in the same nest".  Among the few exceptions, the example of the cuckoo is well known. It must be said: Employee share ownership is not a cuckoo. More information




  September 2015 - 2.000.000.000 Euro to promote employee share ownership
Two billion Euro: On the scale of Europe, this is the estimated tax cost to the US Federal Government for ESOP-specific incentives in 2014 (US$ 1.9 billion). By comparison, a new study was just published on the impact of employee ownership and ESOPs on layoffs and the costs of unemployment to the Federal Government. The data show that employee-owners are far less likely to lose their jobs than non-employee-owners. In turn, these low job losses saved the Federal Government US$17 billion in 2014 alone, making clear that ESOP incentives have been an excellent investment for the taxpayer, for the Federal Government and for the US economy as a whole.
This is exactly what we need in Europe too: The same ESOP model, with the same fiscal incentives, for the same macroeconomic balance. The ESOP  (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is the most effective model in the world for employee ownership in SMEs. It provides private owners with the best way to sell their company to employees, and for employees to become owners at low risk. More information

  June 2015 - German politics finally needs to act
Attention has to be drawn to the recent call published by the German Share Institute (Deutsches Aktieninstitut).
Whereas in other European countries like France (3.3 million employee shareholders) and Great Britain (2.2 million) the numbers of employee shareholders are counted in millions, in Germany only 800.000 employees benefit from employee share ownership.
In its call Deutsches Aktieninstitut therefore demands of the governmental parties to finally create higher tax incentives and better regulation to promote employee share ownership. Due to continuing low interest rates Germans will neither be able to maintain their savings nor obtain a sufficient amount of money for their retirement arrangements without more share investment.
Employee share ownership is a good way to get a first insight into saving with shares.
However, the number of employee shareholders is declining in Germany. In fact, it has never been so small. Fiscal aspects play a major role for the dissemination of employee share ownership. If Germany really wants to promote employee share ownership, it needs to adapt its allowances to common international levels and to increase it strongly. More information

  June 2015 - Call from 10 major German organizations
Ten major German organizations call for a new German Agenda for employee share ownership. More information

  May 2015 - Fiscal policies for employee share ownership
This is the map of European countries encouraging employee share ownership. In blue, the 12 European countries supporting employee share ownership through significant fiscal incentives. This is a minority of Member States in the European Union. However, this minority of 12 Member States of the EU represents the lion's share when considering European listed companies, stock market capitalization and employee share ownership: 72% of all European listed companies, with 72% of employees, 77% of the stock market capitalization, 83% of employee shareholders. See details in our new publication about "Employee Share Ownership for Building the Capital Markets Union".

  May 2015 - Capital Markets Union
The European Commission launched a Green Book and a public consultation on "building a Capital Markets Union".
It is remarkable that, together with the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership, several major organizations representing the full range of private actors of the Capital Markets Union converge on analysis and proposals about employee share ownership in Europe, as:
• EuropeanIssuers
The European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
The Federation of European Securities Exchanges
Better Finance, the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users.
Details

  21.04.2015: Answering the European Commission’s Green Paper on the Capital Markets Union, EuropeanIssuers, the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges published the EU IPO Report: "Rebuilding IPOs in Europe; Creating jobs and growth in European capital markets".
The Report points out the fact that the number of employee shareholders was recently declining in Europe. As the EFES evidenced, these changes are clearly related to the regressive fiscal policies in many European countries.
However, European companies need investment, to grow, to enter new markets, to develop new products and to create jobs. A healthy European capital market attracting long-term investors (especially households, employees and pension savers) is a critical route to channel such investment. More generally, "the links between savers, the original providers of capital, and the financial markets, which allocate that capital, have become less coherent".
The Report recommends that policymakers set the goal of creating an equity culture in Europe. That Member States should be encouraged to use tax policy to encourage long-term investing, providing tax incentives to encourage investment for the longer-term in equity. That fiscal incentives should be provided to support the development of employee share ownership across Europe.

  April 2015 - European governments bet again on employee ownership
The table of all recent policy decisions regarding employee share ownership in European countries reveals a remarkable shift.
At the beginning of the financial crisis, several countries took negative decisions to reduce their expenses, in a pure short term vision. This bad signal came first from France, followed by Greece, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands, between 2009 and 2012.
Since 2012, most political decisions are positive again, as in the UK, in Spain, in Hungary, and in Austria where tax incentives will be doubled. Details

  April 2015 - New study finds ESOPs total return beats S&P 500 by 62%
A new analysis of the economic impact of S corporation ESOPs in USA examines trends in account balances, distributions to participants, total return, and the existence of other retirement plans. The study, performed by EY's Quantitative Economics and Statistics, finds that:
S corporation ESOPs are growing by many measures. They represented 22% of ESOPs in 2002 and 42% in 2012. The number of plans, participants, and net assets also increased over that time.
The total return for participants in S ESOPs from 2002 to 2012 was an 11.5% compound annual growth rate, 62% higher than the S&P 500 Total Returns Index's 7.1% growth rate over the same period. Details

  February 2015 - Divorce
Assets held by European employees in shares of their company increased to 301 billion Euro in 2014, a new record. However, for the third consecutive year in 2014, the number of employee shareholders decreased in Europe. This is clearly related to the regressive fiscal policies in many European countries. In contrast, the UK chose to double the fiscal incentives for employee share ownership, considering it is a key element of recovery and an investment for the future. Lower incentives have a clear consequence in continental Europe: The democratization of employee share ownership regresses, leading to wealth concentration in the richest hands. The following graph shows how dramatic is the divorce between continental Europe and the UK. While 30% of employees held shares of their company last year in the UK (the highest rate since the statistic exists), a sharp drop below 24% can be observed on the continent. More information

  January 2015 - Warning signal
For the third consecutive year in 2014, the number of employee  shareholders decreased in Europe. This should be a warning signal for everyone. In fact, the number of employee shareholders in continental Europe decreased by 500.000 persons (-8%) from 2011 to 2014, while the number increased by 200.000 persons in the UK (+8%). These changes are clearly related to the regressive fiscal policies in many European countries, while in contrast, the UK chose to double the fiscal incentives for employee share ownership, considering it is a key element of recovery and an investment for the future. This is the first information from our annual census of employee ownership in European companies. More information



The Virtual Information Center for employee ownership and participation offers a full picture of each country of the European Union. For each country, it offers a summary of dedicated legislation as well as a short information about fiscal, social, political and cultural aspect of employee ownership and participation. It is on the Internet and it is for free. More information

 
December 2014 - Italy on the right way
On November 30 the Italian Government approved the Parliamentary Motion presented by MPs Tidei, Galperto and Bargero about the promotion of employee share ownership in Italy. The document is largely inspired by the EFES positions and activities. Its aim is to promote employee share ownership through a new legislation and through a dedicated budget. See more in Italian

The study entitled "Employee Financial Participation in Companies' Proceeds" was published by the European Parliament in September 2012. Authors of the study were severely condemned by the Court of Justice of Brussels and the study had to be definitely removed by the European Parliament. Authors of the study are a consortium made of Ecorys and Case, represented by Professors Jens Lowitzsch and Iraj Hashi. In addition, the study seriously misled the Parliament on two major points. More information

  November 2014 - Back to fiscal incentives
It is well known that fiscal incentives are the key point for the development of employee share ownership. Australia: The Labor Government decided in 2009 to cut fiscal incentives for share option plans, leading to a disaster for employee ownership and entrepreneurship in Australia. Now they're back:  “We are reversing the changes that the former government made in 2009 which essentially stopped employee ownership in this country,” Prime Minister Abbott said. Denmark: Fiscal incentives on employee share plans were removed in 2012. Now they're back: Legislative amendments are presented in this sense to the Parliament. The Netherlands and Greece: Fiscal incentives were removed in 2012. When will reason come back there? France: Surprising Government's order removes the whole legislation which formerly encouraged employee share ownership in case of privatisations. At the same time, the British Government recently doubled fiscal incentives for employee share plans in the UK, as a key element of recovery. And former European Commissioner Michel Barnier just launched a call in the British and French press, telling that "Europe can only gain if we embrace employee share ownership", and calling the new European Commission to bring support in this sense. More information in our press review

  October 2014 - Manifesto 2014:   Fiscal incentives are indispensable prequisites  

Worldwide practical evidence and a wide range of academic research support the view that a proper legal environment and the provision of suitable fiscal incentives are indispensable prerequisites for any policy truly aiming the development of employee share ownership.
Moreover, such evidence and research also show that fiscal incentives always pay off medium/long term and in many ways.
Organisations promoting employee owner-ship around the world have demanded persistently and consistently supportive legislations including fiscal incentives for the common good (evidenced in additional growth and profitability, the spread of wealth, contribution to economic and social stability).
New fiscal incentives pave the way to new encouraging development, while political decisions reducing or cutting such incentives always lead to regression.


 

 

  September 2014 - To the new European Commission and Parliament

All over the world, from the United States to China and Africa, employee share ownership is highlighted and promoted as a factor for boosting activity, greater productivity and better results and social balance for all. This is also true in the UK, where fiscal incentives in this direction have been strongly improved recently.
The development of employee share ownership can be a major factor of investment and recovery, also for the European Union. For the EU, this is the right political choice to do.
Letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker 17-9-2014   

  September 2014 - EFES' Manifesto: Fiscal incentives are indispensable prequisites

Worldwide practical evidence and a wide range of academic research support the view that a proper legal environment and the provision of suitable fiscal incentives are indispensable prerequisites for any policy truly aiming the development of employee share ownership.
Moreover, such evidence and research also show that fiscal incentives always pay off medium/long term and in many ways.
Organizations promoting employee owner-ship around the world have demanded persistently and consistently supportive legislations including fiscal incentives for the common good (evidenced in additional growth and profitability, the spread of wealth, contribution to economic and social stability).
New fiscal incentives pave the way to new encouraging development, while political decisions reducing or cutting such incentives always lead to regression.
The EFES' Manifesto 2014 is soon to be published.

   

  June 2014 - Strong move in the UK
High fiscal incentives are the base of the successful policy to promote employee ownership through ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in the USA. In contradiction with Europe, this allowed American public policies to promote employee ownership in SMEs. Some 11.000 ESOP companies can be found in the USA compared to only 300 quite similar cases in Europe.
It is now generally admitted in the UK that such policy has also to be promoted here, leading to higher productivity, greater levels of innovation and outstanding financial performances. Finance Bill 2014 designs two new tax reliefs to encourage and support the shift to employee-owned companies:
Under the first new tax relief, the sale of a controlling interest in a business to an employee ownership trust, will be entirely free from capital gains tax.
Under the second tax relief, bonuses of up to £3.600 per tax year paid to employees of companies controlled by an employee ownership trust benefit from an income tax exemption.
These new incentives are still relatively modest compared to those for ESOPs in the USA but the UK is clearly showing the right way for all European countries.

  May 2014 - Transparency
It is usually considered in large European companies that employee share ownership has to be developed, leading to better performances and better governance. Top Executives are commonly the first employees to be encouraged in this way. More and more companies have "shareholding guidelines", requiring Top Executives to hold up to 100-300% of their annual salary in shares of the company, so as to align employees' and shareholders' interests. The 2.200 largest European companies employ some 8.800 Top Executives, each of them owning 13 million Euro on average in shares of his company. 77% of all large European companies are fully transparent about this (see graph). However, the lack of transparency is flagrant in a number of European countries: Greece, Luxemburg, Austria, Belgium, Germany and some others. A detailed chapter about this can be found in the European Survey of Employee Ownership in 2013.  More information

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  April 2014 - Listed and non-listed companies
It was sometimes told, based on the observation of specific examples, that non-listed employee-owned companies could have been more resilient than others through the financial crisis. Employee-owned companies might have fared better. This idea is even a cornerstone of the British Government's policy to build a wide "employee-owned business sector" in the UK. The picture is not the same when based on the systematic comparison of all large listed companies and all large non-listed employee-owned companies in Europe. The graph hereafter illustrates this through the case of employment in both types of companies from 2006 to 2013. A detailed chapter about this can be found in the European Survey of Employee Ownership in 2013. More information

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   NOW AVAILABLE !
                                                

                  EUROPEAN SURVEY 2013
   The whole information about employee ownership and
   employee share plans, top executives and common
   employees in European companies, corporate
   governance and profit-sharing, employee representation
   on boards and discrimination in employee shareholders'
   voting rights, and a comparison between listed
   companies and non-listed employee-owned companies.
   150 pages, 100 tables and graphs.  More info
   


  March 2014 - Discrimination in voting rights
There is no discrimination for or against employee shareholders' voting rights in most European countries. However, significant discrimination can be observed in six countries. Employee shareholders' voting rights are generally multiplied in France due to the fact that shares enjoy a double voting right when held for at least two years. At the contrary, employee shareholders' voting rights suffer negative discrimination in five other countries: Denmark, Germany, Finland, Sweden and The Netherlands. Typical cases there are companies issuing two classes of shares, A-shares with 10 votes and B-shares with 1 vote. Controlling owners hold high voting shares but employee share plans are based on low voting ones. This way, employee shareholders' voting rights are severely discriminated, in up to 45% of large companies in Sweden. More info

  February 2014 - Still more employee share plans in Europe
The EFES Survey of employee ownership in 2013 is soon available, showing that still more and more of European companies organize employee share plans. In 2013, 85% of all large European companies had employee share plans of all kinds, while 53% had "broad-based" plans for all employees and 63% had stock option plans... More

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  January 2014 - 266 billion Euros in 2013, just as before the financial crisis
In 2013, the capital held by employees in European companies increased by 32% to 266 billion Euro, just the same level as before the financial crisis. The stake held by employees rose to the top with 2.99% (see graph). This new increase was not mainly due to new employee share plans (some 30% of all large European companies launched new employee share plans, as usual). The main reason is due to the fact that share prices increased more in companies having higher employee ownership, leading mechanically to a higher average stake. This is remarkable. More

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  January 2014 - Policy support increasing again and again in the UK
Tax support for employee share plans will be doubled. Fantastic news for the millions of employee shareholders. Policy makers are increasingly embracing employee ownership as a key sustainable business model. Recent years saw a strong lobbying to favour "employee ownership" (in short: employees having controlling stake in SMEs) even at the detriment of "employee share ownership" (in short: employees owning minor stake in large listed companies). The British Government decided to offer £ 50 million in this sense and voices were even heard to express the idea that support for employee share ownership in large companies should be cut. However an additional £ 25 million will go to further encouragement of employee share plans. Amount of money employees can save in Government approved SAYE employee share plans will be doubled from £250 a month to £500 a month and for the SIP employee share plan it has increased from £1,500 a year to £1,800 a year.

  December 2013 - UK Employee Ownership Index
The UK Employee Ownership Index (EOI) has recently been re-launched and from June 2013, it is calculated by FTSE International. The index was created to test a hypothesis that businesses with substantial employee ownership perform well over the long term. The UK Employee Ownership Index is an index of UK public companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange. Strangely, the picture the new EOI brings about performance is quite different from the former Index... More

  December 2013 - Employee representation on boards in Europe
Employee representation on boards is highly sophisticated in many large companies in France, either in Boards of Directors or in Supervisory Boards. Altogether employee representatives are present on boards covering 51% of employment in large French companies. This is through unions or workers councils for 36% and it is for 29% through employee shareholders representatives (while both unions or workers councils and employee shareholders are present in 14% of cases). A detailed publication about employee representation on boards is now available… More

  November 2013 - Employee representation on Boards
Employee representation on Boards is usual in many large European companies, either in Boards of Directors or in Supervisory Boards.
Employee shareholders are represented on Boards in 13% of large French companies (but 29% in terms of employment). Employee shareholders representation on Boards is thus typical in French largest companies.
On the other hand, employee representation on Boards is usual for 36% of employees in large European companies (See Graph). This is the case for 95% of employees in large companies in Austria, Germany or Slovenia. In France, it is the case for 51% of employees in large companies (just over the European average), while it is only the case for 2.3% in the UK… and 0% in Italy.
The EFES database of large European companies gathered initially all information about employee share ownership in the 2.200 largest European companies (25% of all listed companies in Europe but 94% in terms of employment and 97% in terms of capitalization). The EFES database is now extended to corporate governance issues. A detailed publication about employee representation on Boards is now available.

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  October 2013 - European Trade Union Institute
A dedicated Internet site worker-participation.eu was set up as "the gateway to information on worker participation issues in Europe", a remarkable work by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). It is about employee participation which includes the following pieces: Trade unions, collective bargaining, workplace representation, board-level representation, European-level representation, representation in the area of health and safety, and finally employee financial participation. In the European unions' vision, employee share ownership belongs to employee financial participation, which has two main branches: Profit-sharing and employee share ownership. Profit-sharing is considered as "the simplest form of financial participation. This can be understood as a collective regulation that, in addition to the stipulated wage, provides a variable income dependent on enterprise profits" – Variable pay, in fact. Finally, employee share ownership appears in the European unions' vision as the last piece of this participative building. More information

  September 2013 - European Commission's Action Plan for employee share ownership
The European Commission recently published its new Action Plan. In summary, the following actions will be taken:
The Commission will analyse the subject in more details.
The Commission will identify which initiatives may be appropriate to encourage the development of trans-national employee share ownership schemes in Europe.
The Commission will identify and investigate potential obstacles to trans-national employee share ownership schemes.
Subsequently the Commission will take appropriate action to encourage employee share ownership throughout Europe.
Full details about this new action plan are available for download here.  

  July 2013 - Rectification about European Parliament's study
The European Parliament – Economic & Scientific Policy Department published a study named "Employee Financial Participation and Companies' Proceeds". This study published by the European Parliament was quoted by the European Commission as the most recent element of the "European background", in its call for tender for the implementation of the European Pilot Project for the Promotion of Employee Ownership and Participation… More information

  April 2013 - For the first time since the financial crisis occurred... 
… the number of employee shareholders in Europe didn't increase last year, and the democratization rate of employee ownership went down.
A new differentiation appears between top executives and other employees since the beginning of the crisis. The share held by common employees is continuously decreasing since 2009. At the contrary, top executives increased their share in companies' capital. As a consequence, the average capitalization held by each of the 8.845 top executives in large European companies raised to 9,1 million Euro in 2012, compared to the average capitalization of 11.500 Euro held by each of the 9,6 million common employee shareholders.
This picture of a first decrease in the democratization of employee ownership since the financial crisis may be related to some recent negative political orientations decided in a number of European countries regarding employee share ownership, for instance in Ireland, The Netherlands, France, or even in the UK.
In addition, nothing effective was made for the promotion of employee share ownership in Eastern and Southern Europe. These are the main conclusion of the new Economic Survey of employee ownership in European countries in 2012. More information

  April 2013 - Australia: Employee share ownership weakened by government legislation
Employee share plans have been widely hit over the last four years by government legislation resulting in a significant drop in employee ownership while adding complexity for companies. According to a new report by the Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand (EOA) the number of employees participating in employee share plans and the amount of capital they are investing in these plans has been "substantially reduced". More information

  March 2013 - A new film on employee ownership in the USA
What does it mean to be an employee owner? We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream tells the story of three employee-owned companies: New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar and DPR Construction. ESOP companies are the most typical way for employee ownership in the USA (an ESOP is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan). This model is particularly designed for business transfers to employees. In this sense, it is clearly the most effective in the world, being shaped as a pension plan with strong tax incentives for both family owners (selling the company to employees) and employees (buying usually 100% of the company for peanuts). More information

  February 2013 - New era for employee share plans in the UK
The British government has given the green light to substantial simplification and reform of all four approved share ownership schemes during the course of the next 15 months. This follows the exhaustive review of the approved schemes by the Office of Tax Simplification, which concluded that major changes had to be made quickly to head off strangulation of the employee share ownership sector by overregulation and excessive bureaucracy. More

  January 2013 - New support from the European Union in 2013
Both European Commission and Parliament will bring more support for employee ownership in 2013. The European budget was voted by the European Parliament, including a budget heading for a pilot project for the setting up of a Center for Employee Ownership in each Member State, to deliver information, education and promotion of adequate legislation. In addition, the European Commission announced its Action Plan to modernize European company law and corporate governance, including measures on employee share ownership. More details

  December 2012 - A new wave for employee ownership across Europe
A new wave boosting employee share ownership seems growing from major European countries. Great Britain: Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson told that the British Government will do all in its power’ to extend employee share ownership substantially within the UK. "We have to eliminate the barriers which inhibit the installation of employee share schemes and employee ownership in UK businesses", she said. "Over the years employee ownership and employee share ownership have not been nearly as far up government agendas as they should have been. For the workforce is our human capital and must be encouraged accordingly", said Ms Swinson. "Much more employee share ownership was needed now in large and small companies alike, because such schemes were an important factor in economic growth" the minister told to the Employee Share Ownership Center in London. France: President François Hollande announced a new legislation for employee share ownership and participation. Germany: As promised by Minister Philipp Rösler, the German Ministry of Economics and Technology launched a new Internet portal for employee ownership. Italy: Waiting for a new law on participation and employee ownership. The Parliament appointed the Government at the end of June, but the white smoke is still awaited in Rome.

  November 2012 - British Government's plans to boost employee ownership sector
British Government announces its plans to boost employee ownership sector. The plans include assessing whether to establish an independent Institute for Employee Ownership, an ‘off the shelf’ model for setting up an employee owned business, work to examine the guidance on tax issues relating to employee ownership, a guide for staff and employers to request and agree an employee ownership takeover and work with the John Lewis Partnership to examine the barriers to funding for private sector employee owned companies. More details

  November 2012 - Employee owner or sub-employee owner?
To be or not to be? We are still in the UK of course. Every day brings its new ideas to boost employee ownership. Chancellor George Osborne announced the new "employee-owner" contract: Employees could be given shares in their companies in exchange for giving up certain employment rights under plans for a new type of employment contract. Storm of controversy! Would you trade your employment rights for shares? "Osborne's announcement is a big boost to employee ownership scheme", the Employee Ownership Association said. And again: "Employee ownership is now being embraced as the most prominent alternative to the over-dominant PLC model and its inherent short-termism." The National Center for Employee Ownership said Chancellor Osborne’s proposals were "awful", a “very bad idea” and that no “rational person” would give up employment rights for a small capital gains tax break. Finally, most employee ownership organizations agreed that the rights of workers couldn't be reduced in order to grow employee ownership. See press review for all details

  October 2012 - Employee Ownership Index
Would you like investing in a financial tool if it is not transparent? Hopefully not! The Employee Ownership Index is published in the UK by a law firm in London. It shows that companies in the EO Index outperform FTSE All-Share companies over the long term by an average of 10% each year since the EO Index began (see graph). Not bad!!! Our question to this law firm was: "Which companies belong to the Index?" Here is the answer: "I'm afraid we don't give out the names of companies in the index". Maybe the only stock index in the world whose components are unknown. Would you like to comment on this or ask your own questions, please use this link

  September 2012 - A new era of capitalism in the UK
The British Government announces a new era of capitalism. "Never before, employee ownership had so much attention in the UK", Minister for Employment Norman Lamb said. They are going "to shift employee ownership into the mainstream of corporate Britain". On the other hand, the British administration for Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched a public consultation about employee share plans. Something should be done in priority about employee share plans in large companies, as the comparison with France shows. This is appearing from the EFES answer to the HMRC consultation

  September 2012 - Typology of employee ownership
Based on empirical and statistical observation, a typology of employee ownership can be identified: Up to 1% employee ownership appears to be insignificant or embryonic, over 1% it is becoming significant, over 6% it is strategic, over 20% it is determining, and over 50% it is controlling. Of course, here is a link with corporate governance issues. It is remarkable that employee ownership appears to be strategic, determining or controlling, not only in small and medium sized enterprises, but even in a high number of the largest European companies. More information

  July 2012 - Employee Ownership Summit 2012
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg together with Ministers Norman Lamb and Francis Maude organized the first Employee Ownership Summit on July 4 in London. "We are completely enthusiastic about employee ownership" Norman Lamb said. "Never before, employee ownership had so much attention in the UK." It is a fact that the British legislation for employee ownership revealed itself to be much less effective than the French one. More information

  July 2012 - Key recommendations to the British Government
Growing the economy is the British Government's most pressing priority. The Government adviser on employee ownership published its report, including his 28 recommendations to promote employee ownership in the UK. The recommendations focus mainly on the promotion of employee ownership in small and medium sized enterprises, at least 25% employee-owned. More information

  July 2012 - The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership
 The British Government adviser on employee ownership publishes its report, including his 28 recommendations to promote employee ownership in the UK, in line with the British Governments' aim of shifting employee ownership into the mainstream of corporate Britain. The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership

  France - UK: 2 - 1
Employee ownership is developing and growing in all European countries. The UK and France were the leading countries in this move. On average, companies in the UK and in France launched their first employee share plans at the same time, around 1995 (including Britain's John Lewis in 1929).
Today, most large companies have broad-based employee share plans in both countries. While 53.4% of companies are doing so in Europe, it is 80 to 90% in the UK and in France.
However, some 15 years after the first plans were launch, results look quite different in the UK and in France. Considering the capitalization held by employee owners, it is 2.83% in Europe, but it is 5.04% in France compared to 2.49% in the UK – only one half. In addition, the number of employee owners is much higher in France than in the UK. Today, France tells 4 million employee owners compared to 10 million across Europe, while it is only 2.6 million in the UK.
Finally, the democratization rate of employee ownership (the percentage of employee owners amongst all employees) is still much lower in the UK than it is in France. As a consequence, it has to be noticed that employee owners' involvement in corporate governance seems growing stronger in France than in the UK.
As a conclusion, it is obvious that the legislations both countries implemented for some 30 years led to significant differences, the French one appearing as more effective than the British. More information

  June 2012 - The European Parliament at work
During the public hearing we organised in the European Pa rliament on March 22, we asked for a dedicated budget heading of 2.5 million Euro for the promotion of employee ownership across Europe. A clear, simple, cheap proposal. It will allow information centers about employee ownership to be organised in every member state of the EU. This is the key-point to combat obstacles to multinational employee share plans, a condition for "a single market for employee ownership". Now the Parliament is working. We hope an effective decision will be taken. More information

  June 2012 - Democratization rate of employee ownership in Europe
The democratization rate of employee ownership is calculated as the proportion of employee owners among all employees. It was continuously rising in European companies for 30 years and even through the recent financial crisis (see graph). It was 30.1% in 2011, which means that one-third of all employees are now co-owners of their company. This rate of democratization should still increase to 50-60% in the near future. More information

  May 2012 - Report of the public hearing in the European Parliament
    
The Report of the public hearing is now available. The public hearing in the European Parliament was held on March 22 thanks to Pervenche Berès, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and with Commissioner for Internal Market Michel Barnier.
A budget proposal was laid on the table of the Parliament for supporting the development of employee ownership in all European countries…
Download the full Report

  May 2012 - Survey of Employee ownership in European countries in 2011
The new Survey is now available. It is based on the census of employee ownership in each of all 2.505 largest European companies, employing 32,8 million people in 2011. Content: Main findings of census 2011, more than 50 tables and graphs, democratization ratio of employee ownership in various European countries, relative shares of Top Executives and other employees, list of most remarkable cases... More information

  A letter from François Hollande and another from Nicolas Sarkozy
A letter from François Hollande answering to the French federation of employee shareholders' associations. Download Hollande
Letter from Nicolas Sarkozy

  April 2012 - Commissioner Barnier: Employee ownership, symbol of social cohesion
Employee ownership is a symbol of the social cohesion which Europe needs in this time. It has to be supported at all levels. This was the conclusion expressed by the European Commissioner for Internal Market Michel Barnier and the President of the Commission for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, Pervenche Berès, after the public hearing held in the European Parliament on March 22. A budget proposal was laid on the table of the Parliament for supporting the development of employee ownership in all European countries… More information

  April 2012 - Employee ownership in European countries in 2011
Capital held by employee owners in European companies raised to 232 billion Euro in 2011, not so far from its highest in 2007, and the share held by employees in their companies increased to 2.83%, going back to its positive trend (see graph hereafter). More information

  March 2012 - Employee ownership in European countries in 2011
The most recent numbers show that employee ownership was continuously progressing across Europe since the financial crisis. This is the main conclusion of the new "Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries in 2011". The conclusion was the same in 2010, this is thus a confirmation.
In 2011, 9.9 million employee owners held 232 billion Euro in their companies' shares compared to 9.5 million holding 197 billion Euro one year before. The number of employee owners increased more in Spain, Sweden, Denmark and France, while it was decreasing in Italy, Greece and Portugal as well as in Germany, Belgium and Ireland.
The survey brings exhaustive information. It is based on the census of the 2.505 largest European companies employing 32.8 million people in 2011. More information

  February 2012 - Public hearing in the European Parliament on March 22
The European Economic and Social Committee recently launched a call on the European institutions and governments for a renewed initiative supported by the EU budget through a dedicated budget heading.  Such a budget should help to set up and finance a European Center for Employee Ownership in each European country, to deliver information, training and advice to employees, enterprises and the public at large. The public hearing in the Parliament on March 22 will be the opportunity for a budget proposal.
Program of the hearing    Budget proposal

  December 2011 - Employee share ownership and the EU corporate governance framework
In 2011, the European Commission published a Green Paper and they organized a public consultation about the EU Corporate Governance Framework. Question 23 was about employee ownership: "Are there measures to be taken, and is so, which ones, to promote at EU level employee share ownership?" Many companies, enterprises organizations, unions, organizations of the civil society and public authorities answered the consultation. About employee share ownership, the Commission  received 252 answers from 34 countries. It is remarkable that answers are globally positive. In fact, the global quote is positive at 65%. However, it is sad that the question was ambiguous: Many people answered positively, supporting the idea that employee ownership should be promoted by the EU, while others gave negative answers fearing that the EU could restrict their freedom in the field (for example, most Swedish companies gave the same hard negative answer). More information

  December 2011 - Curriculum Library on Employee Ownership (CLEO)
CLEO, is the largest online academic repository of teaching and background materials on employee ownership. CLEO offers over 500 materials (e.g., books, articles, cases, teaching modules, etc.) to help with research and teaching on a broad range of topics on employee ownership; more recent newly developed works and educational cases, syllabi, and curriculum; teaching modules and reading collections with suggested relevant materials. More information

  November 2011 - The EU Corporate Governance Framework
The European Commission organized a public consultation about "The EU Corporate Governance Framework". All contributions are now public, including ours. Question 23 is about employee ownership: "Are there measures to be taken, and is so, which ones, to promote at EU level employee share ownership?" Of course we answered positively, arguing that "Employees' interest in the long-term sustainability of their company is going to be increasingly a crucial element of trust and corporate governance. Not only can employee owners contribute greatly to increase the proportion of long-term shareholders, but we will also see that employee ownership itself will be more and more perceived as a trust indicator." We are delighted to see that so many organizations too gave encouraging answers, including international unions like ETUC or UNI. All contributions are available here, while the EFES' one can be downloaded here

  November 2011 - Euroshareholders
Euroshareholders is the organization of European shareholders associations. It was founded in 1992 while the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership was founded in 1998. Both organizations developed a good cooperation for many years, considering a number of common objectives regarding corporate governance in Europe, shareholders' rights and equal treatment of all shareholders, harmonization at the EU level on shareholders issues, financial education and scientific research on capital market and finance. Both organizations recently decided to reinforce their links. The recent general meeting of Euroshareholders in The Hague welcomed the EFES as a new associate member, while Euroshareholders will reciprocally join the EFES. More information

  October 2011 - New call from the European institutions
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held "the week of employee financial participation" some days ago in Brussels. The EESC is the body that gives representatives of Europe's social partners and civil society a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. A new call was launched for developing employee ownership in European companies.
  Each Member State of the EU should made available "an optional simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax arrangements and incentives throughout the EU". This is mainly targetting an harmonized and easiest way for multinational employee share plans.
  The "ESOP model" for business transmission to employees in SMEs should be implemented in the European Union, as it is successfully in the USA since 1974. This is the only relevant way to develop employee ownership in SMEs.
  A dedicated budget heading should be voted by the European Parliament, allowing the setting up and financing of a European Center for Employee Ownership in each European country, for delivering information, formation and advices to employees, enterprises and the public at large.

  September 2011 - Two particular organizations in the UK
Two particular organizations has had a major influence on the popularity of employee ownership in the UK. The first was founded in 1979, with the help of the John Lewis Partnership, Scott Bader and other companies, and originally established as a consultancy, known as Job Ownership Ltd. It was the brainchild of Robert Oakeshott, who died in June this year. Robert was a founder member of the  European Federation of Employee Share Ownership in 1998. It changed later its name to the Employee Ownership Association, acting as "the voice of co-owned business in the UK". The second organization known as ifs ProShare was founded (originally as ProShare) in 1992 by HM Treasury, the London Stock Exchange and a consortium of major companies. It provides "a voice for the Employee Share Ownership (ESO) industry in the UK".

  September 2011 - Talvivaara
The employees of Talvivaara Mining Company resolved on 18 June 2011 to establish a Group personnel fund to manage the earnings bonuses paid by Talvivaara. The fund will invest a substantial proportion of its assets in Talvivaara shares. The fund is managed by personnel representatives elected by the employees. Personnel funds are a typical way in Finland for employee share ownership in large companies.

  August 2011 - European Top Executives massively buying own company shares
With the fire sale of shares on the stock exchange, a strong phenomenon has developed in  recent weeks: European Top Executives are massively buying their own company shares.
This can be seen in the hundreds of releases of "insider dealing". In Italy roundup of Eni, Enel, Mediobanca, IntesaSanpaolo, Indesit and dozens of others. Top Executives buying millions of shares. The same in Germany with Metro, BASF… In Sweden with Husqvarna… In France  Air Liquide, Alcatel-Lucent ... Same at Barclays, Shell... All major companies are affected.
In two words: The short-termists sinking into panic, long-term investors and Top Executives at first take the opportunity to buy cheap.
What about the ordinary employee? What's good for Executives should be good for employees too.
Unfortunately, any legislation promoting a simple and convenient employee ownership model is still lacking in too many European countries.
What are the worst performers of the European class in this area? Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain. Yes, we find here the same list of countries that are stigmatized in the crisis of Euro interest rates. These countries need structural changes, including the development of employee share ownership. Also in the back of the classroom: Belgium, The Netherlands and most Central and Eastern European countries.
The consequence of this lack of legislation: In all these countries, only 10 to 15% of employees are shareholders of large companies, compared to 30% on average in Europe. For good students, it rises to 25, 30 or 50%. These are Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Great Britain, Sweden, France. It is remarkable that over the last10 years, employee share ownership has become an ingredient of the "Nordic model".
Recently, the European social partners have launched an appeal to governments. The European Economic and Social Committee took this initiative. The Committee brings together European business representatives, trade unions and civil society. The opinion is clear and unambiguous.
Aimed at large enterprises, each European country should introduce into its legislation a "simplified model" of employee share ownership, making its development stronger and easier.
Aimed at small and medium sized enterprises, each European country should encourage the transfer of business to employees, following the example of what the U.S. has established since 1974 with the "ESOP model", allowing employees to buy their business without paying a cent, with a long-term credit.
The strength and consistency of employee share ownership will be more and more one of the factors and one of the characteristic elements of good governance in European companies, of better economic performance and regained trust.
The opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee is available on page http://www.efesonline.org/EESC/EN.htm

  July 2011 - New research on the impact of employee ownership
A new research in the USA on the impact of employee ownership is the largest study ever on the connections among various forms of shared capitalism, organizational culture, and company performance. On the other hand, an important collection of essays edited by the economists Richard Freeman, Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse and published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research documents several crucial points: About half of all private-sector workers already have some kind of sharing arrangement with their employers; sharing tends to make employees happier, more productive and better off, as long as they do not take on too much risk by over-investing in the company they work for, and companies often benefit as well, showing improved performance along several different dimensions. In addition, a large sample of publicly traded companies in the United States from 1999 to 2008, offers evidence that companies with employee ownership showed greater employment stability in face of economic downturn. Read more

  May 2011 - Exercising Employee Shareholders' Rights in European Companies - Dircredito European Project
Dear Friends,
For all of you who participated to the project or attended to our Conference in Rome, let me give my warmest thank you.
As many among you already know, we agreed that it could be useful to disseminate the contents of our project as much as possible, by leaving on the Internet also the complete filings of the Conference, by text as well as on Audio Video uploaded on You Tube. This way those who could not attend may receive the same information, and feel the mood from this unique meeting.
Go on www.employeeshare.eu and surf! You can find and download also the "INCONTRI" special issue as well as the articles published by Italian Press.
Time flows: it has been very interesting to meet in Rome in September 2010 in order to exchange experiences, nine months later it could be even more interesting to listen again to our presentations and to the Round Table debate, keeping in mind the evolution of facts in this period.
A special thank to all of our speakers for giving the authorization to publish texts and Audio Video, thus making it possible to build this unique long time lasting file.
Guido Antolini Dircredito Project Manager

  April 2011 - Employee ownership was continuously progressing across Europe since the financial crisis
The number of employee owners was nearly 10 million in 2010 in large European companies (out of 32.6 million employees). The number of companies that have employee ownership was increasing (91.7%), as well as those having share plans for all employees (53.7%) and those with stock option plans (64.1%).
However, significant differences can be seen between countries: A significant increase in the number of employee owners in Spain, Poland, France and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), contrasting with a significant decrease in Belgium, Ireland and The Netherlands.

Overall, the capitalization held by employee owners rose back to 192 billion Euro in 2010. In % held, there was a slight decline for the first time for many years (from 2.82% to 2.71%). However, the share held by Top Executives has increased, while it is the "common" employees who have seen their share shrink.
All details are to be published in May in the next "Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries in 2010". Download

  March 2011 - A European Single Market for employee ownership
European Commissioner Michel Barnier organised a vast consultation about the new "Single Market Act". The single market is all about bringing down barriers and simplifying existing rules across Europe. It would also include a European single market for employee ownership. Read more

  March 2011 - Employee ownership improves company performance
There is a lot of social science evidence today that shows the combination of meaningful broad-based employee ownership with a team-oriented corporate culture improves company performance. Many research works have been done in the U.S. for long. A first econometric work is now also available about French companies: According to the Center for Strategic Analysis, the social performance of a company having employee share ownership is 52% higher than that of companies which have neither employee share ownership nor employee savings plan. Read more

  February 2011 - voestalpine Employee Participation (Austria)
Since the year 2000, the management and the works council of the voestalpine Group have been engaged in the joint development of an innovative concept that surprised many at the time. The idea was to let the employees participate in the company through shares owned by them, to turn them into a stable core shareholder by pooling their voting rights, and to allow them to benefit from the success of voestalpine as individual shareholders. Read more

  February 2011 - Presidency of the European Union Council – Conference on employee ownership
The conference expressed its support to the European Economic and Social Committee, asking for:
Regarding large companies: Each European country should make available "an optional simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax-arrangements and incentives throughout the EU".
Regarding SMEs: Each European country should strongly encourage business transmission to employees as the USA did since 1974 – this is the concept of a "European ESOP model" for SMEs.
The report of the conference is now available. Read more

  February 2011 - Center for Strategic Analysis of the French Republic
According to the Center for Strategic Analysis of the French Republic, the social performance of a company having employee share ownership is 52% higher than that of companies which have neither employee share ownership nor employee savings plan. The effectiveness of employee share ownership has to be reinforced by ensuring the representation of employee shareholders. Read more

  January 2011 - Controversy about employee ownership in the UK
John Lewis Partnership was usually described as the best reference regarding employee ownership in the UK. How does it work really? Across government a siren call is sounding, promoting the John Lewis model of employee ownership as a way of modernising public services. "But John Lewis is not what it purports to be", an expert said. "It’s not an employee run company. The interesting thing when one looks carefully at the documents that lay behind that structure it is very difficult to discern who it is that has responsibility for the appointment and removal of directors of the trustee company. In a sense that is almost a self-serving oligarchy in that it’s the board of directors on the company that appear on the panel that appoint and remove the directors and the shareholders of the trust." More

  January 2011 - New study shows broad-based Stock Option Plans improve performance
One of the most comprehensive and convincing studies to date on the effect of broad-based option plans on company performance was recently released. Looking at non-executive options and the subsequent firm operating performance as measured by the firm's industry adjusted ROA, the authors found that "both the existence of a broad based option plan and the implied incentives of an option plan exert a positive effect on firm performance..." By contrast, companies with grants focused on executives did worse. More

 Welcome amendments to the Prospectus Directive for employee share plans will be in force by July 2011
We have previously reported on proposed amendments to the Prospectus Directive - in particular to the exemption from the requirement to publish a prospectus in relation to an offering made under an employee share scheme. The amending Directive has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will take effect from 31 December 2010. It must be implemented by Member States within 18 months. Pinsent Masons outlines the main changes as they relate to employee share plans

 December 2010 - Twelve Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP (and Seven Good Ones)
Over the years, we have heard a lot of unconvincing reasons not to do an ESOP—and some very good ones, too. Unfortunately, too many business owners decided not to do an ESOP for the wrong reasons. Our goal is not to convince anyone to implement an ESOP (or any other employee stock plan). Employee ownership can grow and prosper only if companies put in these plans for the right reasons... Twelve Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP (and Seven Good Ones) - from the NCEO

 September 2010 - European Economic and Social Committee
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is the body that gives representatives of Europe's social partners and civil society a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. It has a key role to play in the Union's decision-making process. It is now preparing an own-initiative opinion on Employee Financial Participation. This SOC/371 opinion can be downloaded here in all languages
The concept of financial participation by employees is experiencing an astonishing upturn in Europe. However, only a handful of countries have seen financial participation by employees introduced on a scale that can be considered as representing a significant proportion of the working population. The following points therefore need to be highlighted:
-  The European Commission's approach – The models should be open to all employees and should not replace existing forms of remuneration, but instead supplement them. Additional substantive measures are needed to promote such broad-based models.
-   Europe 2020 – Employee participation boosts the competitiveness of European companies by rooting them down in the region, raising productivity and promoting sustainability. Its role an entrepreneurial instrument should be highlighted.
-  Promoting a European model – The modular "building block approach" provides the starting point for a European model.
-  Business successions in SMEs – The "Employee Stock Ownership Plan" (ESOP) is a collective employee capital participation scheme, run by a trust, which for the past 50 years has proven to be a successful instrument for managing company succession in the USA.
-  State intervention and participation – Recommendations: Expansion of employee participation to compensate for state support (for example, the case of Opel). Promotion of employee takeovers through lending activities by banks which have received state guarantees.
-  Use of optional tax incentives to promote employee participation – Tax incentives are not an indispensable precondition for employee participation, but they have undoubtedly had a positive impact in the countries that offer them.
The opinion will prepare the ground:
-  For a recommendation of the European Council on a European platform for employee participation, based on the modular "building block approach".
-   The incorporation of employee participation in the Regulation of the Council on the European Private Company Statute, as well as in the activities connected with the "Small Business Act".
-  The development of a concept for the European Investment Bank, encouraging it to link any increases in loan volume for SMEs to the introduction of employee participation, especially the ESOP approach for  financing company successions.

 June 2010 - Encouraging times for employee ownership in Europe
The French annual survey about employee savings was just published: Employee savings rebounded in 2009. The new British annual survey 2009 came at the same time: Share schemes popularity booms in the UK. There's been a big increase in share ownership through employee savings schemes. The EFES' own Annual Economic Survey 2009 confirms for all European countries. On the other hand, social partners are preparing a new opinion about employee financial participation in the framework of the European Economic and Social Committee. Read more

  May 2010 - European conferences in Rome and in Brussels
Two major European conferences will be held in Rome on September 16-17 and in Brussels on November 26, 2010. The conference in Rome is about "Exercising employee shareholders' rights in European companies". Which are the good practices? Which models, which obstacles across Europe? Could it be more effective? The conference in Brussels will be part of the programme of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union – "Ten years of public policies for employee ownership in Europe – past, present, future". Read more

  May 2010 - A cat is a cat
A cat is a cat. This is the present debate in the European Internet Forum on Employee Ownership.  The financial crisis brings new political awareness about employee ownership which increasingly appears the best option for its contribution to healthier corporate governance, long term vision and stability. The old concept of employee financial participation appears now obsolete and confusing. It's easy for you to join the Forum. Read more

  May 2010 - Gnashing of teeth in France
The transposition of the Shareholders Rights Directive sets teeth on edge in France. The member states of the European Union have to transpose the Directive into their national legislation. This one aims to facilitate and encourage effective shareholder control in EU companies. However, France failed to implement it in due time. Furthermore, the transposition project by the Ministry of Justice brings new difficulties and obstacles. Read more

  March 2010 - Democratizing employee ownership
Every large European company has 4 Top Executives on average, each holding 6.475.000 € in his company in 2009. Most large European companies have now employee share plans. Most of them express the idea that employee ownership should be increased in order to align employees and shareholders' interests. However, most companies began with share plans for Top Executives. This is to be compared with 9.3 million common employee owners, each holding 10.000 € in 2009. Many discussions occurred recently about Executives' remunerations. What about ownership? More

  March 2010 - Employee shareholders rights in European companies
Which are the good practices? Which models, which obstacles across Europe? Could it be more effective? A European Report will be written with the support of the European Commission and a European Conference will be held in Rome on September 16-17, 2010. It will contribute to open a new door for social dialogue and corporate governance items. Here the new dedicated website

  March 2010 - European employees took advantage of lower share prices

                                                                                    2009                 2008                 2007                 2006
Employee owners                                                            9.3 million         9 million            8.4 million
Employees' share in ownership structure                           2.86%               2.79%               2.75%              2.43%
Capitalisation held by employees                                   166 billion €      249 billion €       291 billion €       213 billion €
% European companies having employee ownership         91%                 83.8%               81.4%               77.4%
% European companies having broad-based plans            53.1%               50.9%               49%                 45.2%
% European companies having launched new plans          30.3%               35.3%               26.5%


In short: European employees took advantage of lower share prices to increase their share. This is the main conclusion of the new Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in the European Countries in 2009 which will be soon published. More

  March 2010 - Go ahead
Employee ownership is a hot debate in the campaign for national election in the UK (see press review). From Paris, the new European Commissioner for Internal Market, Michel Barnier expressed his own positive will: "I am going to make a set of proposals for better corporate governance: Better transparency, better say from shareholders about executives' remuneration, better place for employee ownership…" Go ahead Michel !!… More

  February 2010 - Happy end in Italy
Each European country is now busy with the transposition of McCreevy Directive about shareholders rights. In a first stage, this transposition put Italian employee shareholders associations in danger.  Fortunately, the new legislation finally maintains their role.

 - new common logo for workers' cooperatives in France
The French Confederation of Workers' Cooperatives launched a new common logo for all French workers' coops. More

  January 2010 - 2010 a key year
2010 will be a key year in Europe for employee ownership at political level. After the European Parliament, it is now time for the new European Commission to be appointed. We sent a letter to the new Commissioners… More

  December 2009 - Exercising employee shareholders' rights in European companies
Which are the good practices? Which models, which obstacles across Europe? Could it be more effective? A European Report will be written with the support of the European Commission, and a European Conference will be held in Rome in June 2010. More

  December 2009 - Australian Employee Buyout Centre
The Australian Employee Buyout Centre is in the process of starting up. Its mission is to preserve, protect and enhance jobs through employee ownership. More

  December 2009 - You can make your contribution
We will be able to continue our information work thanks to your support. This is why we call for your contribution. More

  November 2009 - Conference chaired by Lech Walesa in Warsaw
Employee ownership is back on the agenda in Poland. A conference was held in Warsaw with the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership on November 16. Pictures of the conference

  November 2009 - Maybe a historic step
Crisises are typical moments for new ideas. Last summer, we saw German unions changing their minds about employee ownership, considering it as a tool against the financial crisis, and demanding capital stakes in troubled companies. "Arbeitnehmer sind die besseren Aktionäre" (the best shareholders are employee shareholders)!
Now it is in the USA: Last month, the United Steelworkers (USW) and Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa announced a framework agreement for collaboration to establish workers cooperatives.
Unions are usually quite reluctant about employee ownership. This is normal. It is well the unions' role to defend workers against risks. Ownership is a risky matter, and this is also true for employee ownership.
Highlighting the differences between Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and union co-ops, USW President Leo Gerard said, "We have lots of experience with ESOPs, but have found that it doesn't take long for the Wall Street types to push workers aside and take back control. We see Mondragon's cooperative model with "one worker, one vote" ownership as a means to re-empower workers and make business accountable to Main Street instead of Wall Street."
Votes, accountability… This is about governance, pointing out that ownership is not only a risk but also the ability to have a say. Probably your risk is even higher when you don't have any say.

  October 2009 - Effervescence in Italy about McCreevy's Directive on shareholders' rights
Effervescence in Italy. For now, each European country is in the process of transposing the "McCreevy's Directive" on shareholders' rights. In Italy, the transposition threat to remove the associations of shareholders. The federation of shareholders' associations CONAPA convenes its congress on November 10. Detailed information  Letter to Minister Sacconi  Letter to the Treasury and to the CONSOB

  October 2009 - New course in Germany, discussions in Italy and Poland
Things are changing quickly. Until recently, Germany was quite reluctant about employee ownership. It's only just since April that a new legislation was in force and employee ownership is already again on the agenda, with German trade unions promoting employee ownership as a tool against the financial crisis, and demanding capital stakes in troubled companies. However, employers' organisations seem more cautious. Whatever next !? Same situation in Italy: Minister Sacconi convened social partners to a roundtable about employee financial participation, getting positive reactions from the unions' side but cautiousness from employers. In Poland, Vice-Prime Minister Pawlak prepares a new privatisation phase based on employee ownership. Who's next?

  September 2009 - New course in Germany, new course for Europe
Until recently, Germany was quite reluctant about employee ownership. Things are now changing. The German Ministry of Employment & Social Affairs launch a dedicated website and an excellent brochure promoting employee ownership. German trade unions are discovering employee ownership as a tool against the financial crisis. Demanding a capital stake in a troubled company is fast becoming a powerful rallying cry - "Arbeitnehmer sind die besseren Aktionäre" (the best shareholders are employees !). Now that most big European countries feel positive, the whole political picture could change in a positive way for employee ownership at European Union level.

  July 2009 - Proposal to the new European Parliament
After 10 years of (no) European policy, time has come to assess the situation and to re-launch a dynamic policy for developing employee ownership across Europe. 150 Members of the European Parliament and leaders from all political parties expressed their support to the Employee Ownership Manifesto for the 2009 European elections. Healthier economy, sustainability, better governance are the key points in most supporting messages from all parties. Proposal to the new Parliament

  June 2009 - 150 Members of the European Parliament
150 Members of the European Parliament and candidates from all political parties answered our Manifesto for the European elections. The last ten years saw a strong development of employee ownership in European companies. Strangely, this happened while a European policy for the promotion and the development of employee ownership was completely lacking. It is time to reconsider things and to relaunch a real European policy. This is a role for the new European Parliament. Detailed information

 
June 2009 - Employee ownership or not employee ownership in the auto industry
For the first time Washington is looking to employee ownership in a unique form at Chrysler -- employees will have a stake in the company. However, what is it really? Employee ownership or not employee ownership? The United Auto Workers union will own 55% of Chrysler. What future for a union-controlled industry? Which place for employee ownership in the auto industry bailout? Same question for German unions and Opel in Europe. Detailed information

  Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership – Brussels, 18 May
The Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership will be held in Egmont Palace, in the center of Brussels on May 18, 2009. Registration and practical information

  March 2009 - Your country compared to others in 2008
Each European country can easily be compared to others regarding employee ownership in 2008, thanks to a set of ten graphs, using fully comparable information. Download country files

  February 2009 - Manifesto for the 2009 European Parliament Elections
The Employee Ownership Manifesto presents 6 practical proposals to all candidates to the new European Parliament and to the European Commission. All interested people are invited to express their support and answer our questions. Knowing that the European Union doesn't have the necessary competency in the matter, most proposals are addressed to the states. All reactions are published on the dedicated website. We already received a number of interesting reactions from MEPs and others: Glenis Willmott, Stephen Hughes, Brian Simpson, Bernard Lehideux, Robert Goebbels, Frédéric Lefebvre and others. Detailed information

  February 2009 - Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries in 2008
Assets held by employee owners fell to 240.2 billion Euro in 2008, compared to 283.3 billion in 2007, a serious decrease of 15.2%; however this was still quite more than the 206.2 billion in 2006. Employees share in companies capital stabilized on 2.63% in 2008, compared to 2.64% in 2007 and 2.32% in 2006. Europe had 9,1 million employee owners in 2008 compared to 8.5 million in 2007. This is a first information from the Survey of Employee Ownership 2008. The survey brings an exhaustive information about 2.533 European groups, gathering 259.000 companies and 32.4 million employees. See below a first graph showing that employee share plans continue to multiply among European companies. The full Annual Survey will be published on May 18, 2009, it is time for subscription! Subscription order

 
February 2009 - Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership will be held in Egmont Palace, in the center of Brussels on May 18, 2009. Detailed information

  February 2009 - New legislation in Germany
Finally they did !! The Bundestag voted the new legislation for the promotion of employee ownership on January 22. Detailed information

  January 2009 - Crisis as usual
Is the present crisis so different from others? No future, the end of the world, the end of the free enterprise economy, the end of (employee) ownership? As usual, the biggest crisis we've ever seen. As usual doomsayers and happiness mongers as well. As usual most were surprised while many had predicted. As usual bankruptcies, scandals, even surprising frauds, some billionaires suicides. Gesticulations as usual  and reflection. As usual some cry for freedom while others for more regulation. As usual, many look backwards while some look forwards. Get here a long-term vision of financial crisises 1929-2008

  January 2009 - Restructuring and rescuing distressed companies
Bailout plans are multiplying, involving employee ownership. However, all companies cannot be saved. Last month, Tribune Company went bankruptcy in the USA. One year ago, it was acquired through an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) for 8.4 billion dollars. Tribune employees won't be losing anything from the company's employee ownership stock plan. However a bad story for ESOPs. What about the automotive crisis? Is employee ownership the future of automotive companies? Which future for employee ownership? This is a new big debate in the US. After the ESOP Foundation launched its "Employee Ownership Blog" some months ago, it is now turn for the US National Center for Employee Ownership. Both blogs give the opportunity to some of the most experienced experts to discuss the point: Michael Keeling, Corey Rosen, John Logue and John Hoffmire

  January 2009 - Faux pas at the European Commission
The recent call for proposals concerning employee ownership was corrupted. A double complaint was addressed to the European Ombudsman. Detailed information

  December 2008 - Time to buy (bis)
"Workers of the world unite. Don't down your tools but buy a slice of the action. There couldn't be a better time to start learning to love equity - owning shares and investing in business... It is counter-intuitive but with the stock market at rock bottom, this is a great moment for the British worker to swap being a wage slave for owning shares through employee share schemes or investing on the stock market. Taking part in cooperatives or partnerships could be explored too..." (British press). Just as we already pointed in October, it is remarkable that most debates about employee ownership are going in the same way: Time to buy.

  Panic at the European Commission
Difficult time to face. Too difficult for the present European Commission, at least regarding employee ownership. Ignorance, incompetency, what else? This has to be changed. We call for a renewed Commission with real competency in the matter. Letters were addressed to José Manuel Barroso and to Nicolas Sarkozy. See detailed information

  November 2008 - A political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe
A political roadmap for Europe was proposed in the framework of the French Presidency of the European Union. What should be done at European level to promote the development of employee ownership?  Should we set up a European model? The picture of  employee share plans in large European companies is highly fascinating. It is a general movement, involving all large companies in all countries. However, when considering the European states, it is still everyone for himself. What can be done for Europe? Which European model? Download

  Employee ownership for all
Employee ownership for all: This is the common theme linking all these articles about employee ownership in the world's press last month. Most discussions about the financial crisis, share options and executive pay. "Share options and participation for all" seems to be the way in France, Germany and others as well. Tax benefits for employee-owned companies are requested in Spain… See press review

  October 2008 - Time to buy
It is remarkable that most articles about employee ownership in the world's press tell about similar information: Time to buy. For a former Prime Minister, Maltese dockyards should be transferred to a workers' cooperative rather than to foreign ownership. Austrian Airlines: Unions ask for strategic employee ownership which could even be a reason to choose Air France-KLM's offer rather than Lufthansa. Alitalia: Big unions are more reluctant here than Austrian colleagues, but Pilots Union asks for significant employee ownership. Ireland: Eircom's Employee Share Ownership Trust, which alreay owns 35pc of the telecommunications firm, is considering a stake in its majority owner Babcock & Brown Capital. France: Long struggle to rescue Ledar Papermaker through a new workers' coop. Successful new employee share plans for AXA, Société Générale, EDF… Finally, the question is also coming from the USA: "Maybe it's time for Chrysler's employees to buy the company."

  September 2008 - Employee ownership in tough times

"Investing employee retirement money in company stock is not just risky: It's idiotic" (in American  press). Yet in present times, numerous French companies are launching new global plans (see press review)… Many American companies are bought by employees through ESOPs… German government has now just decided for a new supportive legislation in 2009… French employees didn't reduce their employee savings so much, yet President Sarkozy encouraged them to spend it and to boost consumption… The chairman of British employee-owned retailer John Lewis Partnership promises no job cuts in tough times… All idiots?

  Finland – Germany - Spain

Finland brings a good example of employee ownership development in 2008. Compared to 2007, employees' share in capital raised from 1.56% to 1.89% (+21%) on average in the 61 largest Finnish companies. Due to troubles on financial markets, the market capitalisation of the 61 companies decreased from 215 to 213 billion Euro (-1%), while employees' shareholdings grew from 3.3 to 4 billions Euro (+20%). This is based on our survey of employee ownership in European companies, being now updated for year 2008. Things are not so good in Germany: Employees' share in capital appears to be unchanged in 2008 compared to 2007 (1.72%) – It is time for a better legislation. Things are even worst for Spain: Employees' share in capital decreased from 1.57% in 2007 to 1.45% in 2008.


  June 2008 - New research confirms employee-owned companies more productive

A new recent research on "Employee Ownership and Participation Effects on Firm Outcomes"  conducted by Brent Kramer, a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York, “provides strong evidence that majority employee-owned businesses have a significant advantage over comparable traditionally-owned businesses in sales per employee.” More information 

  June 2008 - Private Equity and employee ownership
Over the past decade, management and employee share ownership has become a standard way for  the private-equity industry. It can even be said that management and employee share ownership has become an established part of the private-equity toolkit. More information

  May 2008 - First Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries
The Survey reveals that employee ownership is progressing at a quicker rate and with greater depth across Europe than expected. When considering recent trends, employee ownership is predicted to double within the next 5-10 years, from currently 8.2 million employee owners to 16 million and from currently 26.2% of all employees in large European companies to 40-50%, and finally capitalisation held by employees is predicted to rise currently from 2.35% to 4 - 4.5%. This is a sudden development in most European countries. However, some countries began earlier while others dawdled on the way. They can easily be compared to each others. Each country file can be downloaded and the full Annual Survey is now available. More information

  Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership - Brussels, 23 May 2008
The Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership was held in the prestigious Solvay Library, just near the European Parliament. Most presentations and documents are now available. More information

  The European Employee Ownership Top 100 in 2007
The new rankings or European top companies regarding employee ownership are now available for year 2007. More information

  March 2008 - Europe – USA and the hedge funds
USA: Some days ago, we got the "Statistical Profile of Employee Ownership" from the National Center for Employee Ownership in the USA. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are the most popular employee ownership scheme in the US – they have now 9.774 ESOPs, with 11.2 millions employee owners, holding 630 billions Euro in assets. Looking at all other employee ownership schemes besides ESOPs, they have some 25 millions employee owners, holding more than 1.000 billions Euro in assets.
Europe: Considering the 2.500 largest European companies, we have now 8.2 millions employee owners across Europe, holding 260 billions Euro (see our first "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership" will be soon made public).
Europe and USA: Employee owners hold now some 1.260 billions Euro, quite similar to the global capitalisation of all hedge funds across the world in 2007 (US$ 1.700 billions = 1.160 billions Euro).

  New legislation in Slovenia
On February 29, the Slovenian Parliament voted a new legislation for employee share ownership and financial participation. This is a first major change in the new Member States of the European Union. Most of them promoted  employee ownership when they privatised, 15 years ago, but nothing was done to support employee ownership in the longer term. Hence this strange situation, employee share ownership expanding in the first 15 countries of the European Union, while declining in the new ones.

  February 2008 - 80% of all European largest companies have employee share plans
80% of all European largest companies had employee share plans in 2007, coming from 50% in 2000,  20% in 1994, 10% in 1986... A quick and recent development. All European countries are involved without any exception. However, some of them began earlier while others dawdled on the way. We present the full picture in a set of graphs, so you can see what it is for each country. See graph

  Brussels, 23 May 2008 – Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership will be held in Brussels on 23 May. The meeting will be the place for the publication of the ranking of the European Employee Ownership Top 100 for year 2007 and the full analysis of employee ownership across Europe in 2007. Would you like to attend – get detailed information here

  January 2008 - Promising year 2008
A lot of things seem promising for a new political impulse to employee ownership across Europe. Germany is going fast to a new legislation, Austrian Government is working hard, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxemburg launched a call some weeks ago, the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership is in place in UK, some new Member States seem opening doors, for instance Slovenia (going to a new legislation for employee ownership in 2008), and the next French Presidency of the European Union could be a good opportunity.

  December 2007 - 14 European countries in 2007 – and Austria
Compared with a set of 14 European countries, employee share ownership seems low in Austria. We made a presentation last month in Vienna on invitation of Vice-Chancellor Wilhelm Molderer and Minister of Economics and Labour Martin Bartenstein, comparing employee share ownership in 14 European countries. This is based on most recent numbers, those of year 2006/2007 – a photography of European employee ownership in real time. See presentation

  All-Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership in UK
British Parliament decided to set up a permanent All-Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership. This looks a major political step for employee ownership in UK. The Group organised first a public inquiry, allowing us to express our requirements regarding employee ownership not only in UK but for the whole European Union. See inquiry

  November 2007 - Employee share ownership in business succession planning
It is known that ESOP – one of the most typical employee ownership scheme in USA, was particularly designed for business succession. In Australia, the Australian Employee Ownership Association (AEOA) has been vigorously promoting the role that employee share ownership can play in business succession planning. To support the development of employee share ownership in the SME sector, the AEOA has set up a special "resources" page to assist business consultants with advising on ESOP-based business successions and the expansion of employee equity in private companies. The articles, case studies and web-links appearing on this page will be useful for informing retiring business owners wanting to transition their business to their employees as part of a succession plan, as well as for those wanting to implement shared ownership of private businesses generally. See this new resources web-page
 
  Employee Ownership Blog
Creation of the Employee Ownership Blog in USA. The Employee Ownership Blog is dedicated to fostering an open discussion about employee ownership in the US while keeping readers informed of new developments on the legislative front and linking to relevant articles. Access to the blog 

  October 2007 - A trade unionist in the world of employee ownership
David Wheatcroft is a British trade unionist and an experienced practitioner in the employee ownership field. He just published a new paper: "Caring and sharing – the co-owned route to better care", a personal account of how an employee owned company – Sunderland Home Care Associates – was formed and has flourished. Of course such company is not listed – the paper tells how a regulated internal share market is used for employees who wish to sell or buy shares. Another aim of this report is to show national and local policy makers why the co-ownership model has so much to offer public services. Download  

  Soon coming - The European Employee Ownership Top 2007
Last year we set up a full database of employee ownership in all widest European groups, including detailed description and history of all share-based and option schemes in each group. Our database is presently being updated for year 2007. So we'll be able to see how employee ownership evolved from 2006 to 2007 in all 27 countries of the European Union. This year the database will cover all 2.500 widest European groups, on which 1.200 are already updated. In these 1.200 companies, we can mention that capitalisations held by employees rose by 29,8% in 2007. Of these capitalisations, executives held 19% in average and common employees 81% (but executives held 67% in Spain, 29% in Germany, 17% in Finland). Last year, many companies designed and launched new employee share and options plans. 44% did so in Denmark, compared to 39% in Ireland, 35% in Finland, and only 22% in Germany, 15% in Spain, 8% in Portugal… The database will be soon completely updated and we will publish our rankings for year 2007 and our detailed analysis through a publication and a conference in March 2008. Would your company be a sponsor for this publication and event? Sponsoring

  September 2007 - Employee share ownership - what's in it for you?
Is buying shares in your company a wise investment and a good way to keep your eye on management? In this interview for Rhodia Alliance OnLine (Rhodia's association of employee shareholders), we talk about the advantages of owning a stake in your company, whether criticism of your management is a bad career move, and we break down some of the mysteries and financial ins and outs of share ownership. More details

  New European Report
The European Foundation in Dublin just published a new report about financial participation of employees in the European Union. Conclusion: "There has been a clear trend of rising levels of financial participation over the five years between 2000 and 2005. In all countries there has been an increase, in some cases notable, in the percentage of employees participating… This indicates that the percentage of workers involved in financial participation schemes in Europe, although still low, is on the increase, suggesting that the phenomenon will probably become more significant in the near future." More details

  Political debate about employee share ownership in Germany

Two different proposals are discussed in Germany. The Christian Democratic Party has published a paper with a list of proposals to promote financial participation on the company level. The proposal of the Social Democratic Party has a different objective: They propose to establish a so called “Germany Fund”. A common proposal of the two governmental parties – that means a compromises – could be expected in autumn. More details

  Request to the new Member States of the European Union

EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation allowing employee share plans based on international standards. Most countries answered positively. More information

  July 2007 - 2007 surveys in France and United Kingdom
France publishes its Sixth Annual Survey on employee savings plans. In 2007, 84% of Executives and 82% of employees consider employee share ownership as a good thing for companies (it was 79% and 80% in 2002). Download French Survey  UK released the results of its annual SIP (Share Incentive Plan) and SAYE (Save As You Earn) survey – the most common plans, a succesful story. More information about UK  

  And now Germany
From its start one year ago, Angela Merkel's Government plans to make up the time Germany had lost regarding employee share ownership. Both political parties of the big coalition had their own working groups. Now both proposals are on the table. Socialist SPD thinks to indirect employee ownership, free of risk, through a big "German Fund", managing employees savings and investing in German companies. Christian Democrat CDU/CSU is more inclined to favour direct employee share ownership. See more information in press review.

  Request to the new Member States of the European Union

EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation allowing employee share plans based on international standards (annual employee share purchase plans, 20% discount price free of tax and social security, up to 5.000 Euro or 10% annual wage, 3 years blockage). We already got answers from Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. More information

  June 2007 - Request to the new Member States of the European Union
EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation allowing common employee share plans. Most new Member States have a bad opinion about employee share ownership and they don't have any adapted legislation. This makes things difficult, not only in these countries but in the European Union as a whole, because most new Member States being not interested or even hostile, political interest for employee share ownership fell dramatically also in Brussels !! More information

  Russian Employee Ownership Association
An international conference on employee ownership in Russia was held on June 7-8, 2007 in Rostov-on-Don, Capital of South Russia (city of Essenin, Tchekhov, Soljenitsin, etc), being hosted by the Rostov State Economic University. The Conference decided to set up a new Russian Association for Employee Ownership, and EFES will help.
More information

  May 2007 - Explosive development about employee ownership in the world's press (May 2007)
7.560 articles about employee ownership in the world's press in April. When we launched our press review for the first time in October 2005, we got 597 articles. In March 2006, it was 1.090. In March 2007, last month, it was 2.090… Now with 7.560 articles, we have to change our methods. See press review below.

  Fever in USA, employee ownership schemes are especially topical
For the second time in a few weeks, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) figured prominently in high-profile deals. $8.2 billion deal for Chicago Tribune (21.000 workers – they will have 60% in hands). $5 millions deal for Chrysler with a possible bid by the United Auto Workers reviewing a proposal for employees and the union to buy 70 percent of Chrysler via an employee stock ownership plan… See more information in the press review below.

  Netherlands Participation Institute

New website for the Netherlands Participation Institute which promotes employee ownership in the Netherlands on http://www.snpi.nl/

  Bangladesh: New worker-owned garment factory
The Institute of Integrated Rural Development promotes worker ownership in the textile industry and in roadside tree plantations More information  

  April 2007 - Employee ownership in largest European companies
87% of all largest European groups have employee share ownership and 82,6% have plans to develop it more, while 49% have broad based plans (all employees plans). Employee share ownership is significant in 40,3% (employee owners holding more than 1%). On the other hand, 69,6% use stock options. Our database of employee ownership in European companies is now complete. It gathers the numbers and the detailed history of employee share plans in the 2.000 European widest groups, in 27 European countries. This is 29 millions employees (corresponding to 100-120 millions people, some 25% of the whole European population, if you consider that a family sizes 3-4 persons). The database can be used for benchmarking about countries, branches or a defined list of companies as well. You can ask us here for conditions

  The European Employee Ownership TOP 2007
Would your company be partner of the European Employee Ownership TOP 2007? The database will be updated. It will also be expanded to Romania, Bulgaria and probably Turkey. The ranking of the TOP employee ownership companies will be published through a celebration conference at the end of the year, a dedicated website and a publication. Call us for partnership

  March 2007 - The European Council of Finance Ministers calls for more employee ownership
European companies must give workers a bigger share of their soaring profit or risk igniting a “crisis in legitimacy” in the continent’s economic model, Germany’s finance minister warned on last Ecofin Council of Ministers. The idea of using initiatives, such as employee share ownership schemes, to increase the link between profit and worker benefits was discussed, the debate having even some “Thatcherite overtones” – a reference to the former British prime minister’s promotion of employee share ownership schemes. Here more information 

  The CoCo Report: Work, Happiness and Employee Ownership
Companies where workers have a say in decisions and a stake in ownership are more productive because staff are happier, according to a new report in the UK. The study found absence levels were lower and workers were more committed in "co-owned" companies. The British Government was urged to introduce tax incentives to encourage the launch of more  co-owned companies. Download the full report 

  First Investment Fund based on the employee share ownership index
In December, Euronext together with the French Federation of Employee Shareholders' Associations launched its Indice de l'Actionnariat Salarié (Employee Share Ownership Index). They launch now a first investment fund based on the index. Here more information

  February 2007 - Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
The UK's Accounting Standard Board announced a major relaxation of the requirements for Share Based Payments for smaller companies. Here more information

  Netherlands Participation Institute
Pascale Nieuwland and Marjon Westerhof are the new Directors of the NPI. Here more information

  January 2007 - The European Employee Ownership Top 100 in 2006
The rankings of European biggest companies considering employee ownership are now available. The Top 10 companies for capitalisation held by employees are: UBS, Total,
Novartis, Mondragon, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, AXA, Bouygues. Employees hold 6,16% of those companies, which means 43.357 Euro by employee in average.
Click here for The European Employee Ownership Top 100 rankings in 2006

  Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership was held in Brussels on December 14-16. Click here for all presentations of the conference

  Insolvency, Employee Rights & Employee Buyouts - A Strategy for Restructuring
A new report by Anthony Jensen, Ithaca Consultancy and The Common Cause Foundation

  Three new original research works about employee ownership and participation in Europe
Patrick Guiol & Jorge Munoz made the demonstration that participative management contributes to better public health (French report)
Eric Kaarsemaker gave a theoretical and empirical treatise about employee ownership and human resource management and the Dutch context
Marco Caramelli made an attitudinal cross-cultural approach about the effects of employee ownership in large multinational companies

  New British guidelines on employee share plans in 2007
The Association of British Insurers updated its guidelines on executive remuneration and employee share plans. Click here for detailed information

  Job Ownership Ltd (UK) changed
Job Ownership Ltd decided to change its strategy and name. It is now the Employee Ownership Association on http://www.employeeownership.co.uk/

  November 2006 - With the participation of one of the candidates to the French Presidency
Publication of the first ranking of the TOP 100 European employee ownership companies, during the Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership - Brussels 14-15 December 2006.
Click below for: Programme and practical information
  Whole information   These companies will probably belong to the first TOP 100 ranking

  PEPPER III Report
The European Commission opened doors for a European policy regarding employee ownership, with PEPPER I Report (1991) and PEPPER II (1996). Now the Inter-University Centre Split/Berlin publishes the PEPPER III Report, describing employee financial participation in the new Member and Candidate Countries of the European Union. Download here

  A European Commission's disaster
This is how an expert describes his participation to a European Commission's group of experts on financial participation. Download here

  October 2006 - Come in Brussels for the celebration of the TOP 100 European employee ownership companies
On the menu of the Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership (Brussels 14-15 December 2006): Announcement of the TOP 100 for year 2006 and celebration of companies at the Brussels Stock Exchange Palace.
For the first time, a complete survey of employee ownership will be available, for all countries of the EU. A number of companies case studies from various countries. Unions' testimonies. Obstacles to employee share plans. Reactions of a panel of high political representatives. Many services providers in the field will be present. Click below for:
Whole information
Registration form
Programme and practical information
Reimbursement of your travel and accommodation expenses

  Your company in the European TOP 100 ?
Which companies will be at the top of the TOP 100 for year 2006? Companies of the TOP 100 will be celebrated during a gala dinner in the Brussels Stock Exchange Palace on December 14 evening.
These companies will probably belong to the TOP 100

  New reports about employee ownership in European countries
New reports were recently published about employee ownership in Austria, in France, and in Germany

  September 2006 - Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership will be held in Brussels on December 14-15-16, 2006. The meeting will announce the ranking of all Europe's widest employee ownership companies: The European Employee Ownership Top 100 - 2006. For the first time, a complete survey of employee ownership will be available, for all countries of the EU. Click here for detailed information and draft programme

  Your travel and accommodation expenses could be reimbursed !!
Thanks to our sponsors, EFES will be able to cover your travel and accommodation expenses for the Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership. Click here for detailed information.

  A new platform for employee ownership in Austria
A new platform published a strong study on employee ownership and participation schemes in Austria. See on Plattform Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Österreich

  July 2006 - Top European companies set up a lobby group
Design and management of multinational share plans are very difficult and expensive. The management of multinational schemes is confronted with a huge range of constraints and changeable national rules for which managers and directors of schemes are poorly equipped and frequent use of expensive legal advice is necessary. Many improvements or exemptions could be achieved, hence lower complexity and costs. The first meeting of the lobby group allowed participants to define priorities. Click here for detailed information.

  The European Employee Ownership Top 100 2006
It will be designed with respect to two rankings of Europe's largest companies, considering employee ownership.
EUROPA EMP 100: Companies are ranked by number of employees. Ranking Europe's largest companies that are 50% or more employee-owned through an ESOP, Share Purchase Plan, or other Broad-Based Ownership Plan, or as a workers' co-operative.
EUROPA CAP 100: Companies are ranked by equity held by employees, in millions Euro. Ranking Europe's largest companies that are partly or totally employee-owned through an ESOP, Share Purchase Plan, or other Broad-Based Ownership Plan, or as a workers' co-operative.

  April 2006 - International Survey on Employee Share Ownership and Work Values
The CREGO - Research Center in Management of the University of Montpellier II, is carrying out an international survey on employee share ownership and work values. The goal of this research is to give some insight to several practical issues like the one of the effects of employee ownership on employee motivation and organisational commitment or the impact of cultural values on employees’ perceptions and behaviours towards employee ownership. The survey is aimed at all employees (both shareholders and not shareholders) of traded companies which offer some employee share ownership plan. Filling the questionnaire, takes about 15 minutes and the information gathered is strictly anonymous and confidential. You are invited to take part, clicking here.

  30.06.2005: The Mondragon Co-operative Research Conference 2005 was held in Mondragon on 28 June.
We noticed 3 remarkable papers:

- Entry, exit and the business cycle. Are coops different? by Virginie Perotin, Leeds University Business School.
- The business of co-operative education: Master of Management - Co-operatives and credit unions, by John Chamard, Stephen Dutcher and Tom Webb, Saint Mary's University. Tom Webb took part in the first stages of our EOLE Programme.
- Challenges and opportunities for Mondragon co-operatives in the face of globalization, by Isabel Uribe and Ignazio Iribar, Mondragon University.

  05.03.2005: USA - The ESOP Association Urges President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform to Promote the Ownership Society Through Employee Ownership
WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The ESOP Association submitted comments and recommendations to the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform that encourages the Advisory Panel to be consistent with President Bush's goal to encourage and promote an "Ownership Society" in the United States. See on http://www.esopassociation.org

  18.02.2005: Committee for Effective Employee Ownership: practical guidelines for employee ownership
In 2004, the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO); the Beyster Institute at the Rady School, UC San Diego; and the Global Equity Organization (GEO) created the Committee for Effective Employee Ownership (CEEO). The CEEO's primary goal is to devise principles intended to help companies and investors make appropriate, economically sound choices about the distribution of equity among employees. In addition, the CEEO seeks to provide general guidelines on how companies can best use broad employee equity ownership plans to create more productive and rewarding workplaces. The CEEO bases each of the principles in this document on objective research by scholars, advisors, and the National Center for Employee Ownership; the principles are not simply our opinion or philosophy. The CEEO does not propose these principles as the basis for laws or regulations. Instead, it believes that market-proven benefits of responsible employee ownership can prove themselves without rhetoric. In order to make this happen, business and investment leaders need a deeper understanding of how these various approaches to employee ownership operate. The findings of the CEEO are available at www.nceo.org/ceeo       You can also get the full document available here in pdf (49 pages).

  17.09.2004: Report of the High Level Group of Experts on cross-border obstacles to financial participation of employees for companies having a transnational dimension
The need to reduce, through concrete measures, the obstacles to the introduction of financial participation throughout the Union for enterprises established in several countries has been stressed by the Communication of the European Commission proposing a general framework for promoting financial participation in Europe in July 2002. The report of the high level group of independent experts set up against this background deals with the various forms of financial participation used in the European Union, the obstacles to cross-boarder spread of financial participation and the proposals that would help to reduce the obstacles and promote financial participation at Union level.
Available in pdf format in : EN / FR / DE

  JUNE 2004: FOR THE NEXT RENEWAL OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
In 1998, when the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership was< set up, it was said that some 10% of American employees held shares of their enterprise; they are now 23,3%. Some weeks ago, the Australian Government launched a programme to double employee share ownership in Australia, from 5,5% of employees today to 11% in 2009.
Today, performances studies have multiplied and we can now consider with no doubt that when it is practiced in good conditions, employee ownership brings to enterprises a gain of performances estimated at 2% of additional annual growth on average. On the European Union scale, this would represent millions of additional jobs. In this way the development of employee ownership could be an important factor for the Lisbon Strategy.
Today, we are far from a European awareness and a strong mobilisation. Scepticism or indifference still dominate in many European countries. The contrast is obvious in comparison with the United States, Australia and other parts of the world. A political willingness of the European Union has still to crystallize.
We recommend that Europe gives itself a voluntary objective of industrial policy : reach 10 % of employee ownership in the whole European Union in 2010. In this way, a whole combination of means have to be implemented at the Union level, in the Member States and in the regions.
We particularly insist on the followings :
1. The implementation of a community organ (agency ? institute ? committee ?) for the promotion and the development of employee ownership. In this way, we applaud the proposal of the European Commission Experts Group, chaired by Jean-Baptiste de Foucault, to install a European Committee for Financial Participation of Workers.
2. An adapted legislation must be applied in each country of the European Union. In this way too, we applaud the proposals of the Experts Group of the Commission chaired by Jean-Baptiste de Foucault.
3. Enterprise transfer and salvation of failing enterprises are situations where employee ownership has proved its worth. Employee buyouts schemes should get particular support. These formulas are not only to be supported for themselves but also because they are favourable to the diffusion and promotion of employee ownership, in all enterprises of the Union's countries.

  20.04.2004: The Australian Government recently announced a scheme to double employee share ownership (ESO) in Australian workplaces from 5.5 per cent now to 11% in 2009. They set up a very good website on: http://www.workplace.gov.au/Workplace/WPDisplay/0,1280,a0%253D0%2526a1%253D517%2526a2%253D634,00.html

  02.02.2004: Owners At Work draws the attention on the prestigious award that the Ford Foundation presented to John Logue, Director of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center. See on http://dept.kent.edu/oeoc/PublicationsResearch/OwnersAtWork.htm
... and these are now growing together our OEOC and EFES trees !!!.

.

  19.03.2004: Letter to all European Governments. On the occasion of the forthcoming renewal of the European Commission, EFES calls for a transfer of the competence related to employee ownership and employee financial participation along with the management of the sub-programme on employee financial participation of budget-line B3-4003 to DG Enterprise.

  04.03.2004: A main conference on employee financial participation in Europe, Paris, April 28-29, 2004. Organised by the French organisation "Europe et Société". Most speakers beeing EFES members: Erik Poutsma, Jean-Claude Mothié, etc. Here the draft programme in pdf. Registration on line on www.europeetsociete.com Contact: Jacques Moreau, Executive Manager, europeetsociete@wanadoo.fr

  26.02.2004: The European Commission has released its new Action Plan setting out Europe’s agenda for entrepreneurship in the years to come, published here in the 11 Community languages.

  13.02.2004: EFES Secretariat in Brussels got the visit of two Polish students in the framework of a Leonardo Programme led by the University of Cracow (Prof essor Ryszard Stocki). They spent 31/2 months in Brussels, helping EFES to build our Polish website and to translate all documents of the European Union concerning employee ownership and financial participation of workers. A good experience for EFES. Below Maja Bobruk and Ola Michalik with some members of the teams of EFES, EFES Belgium and L'Associatif Financier. Just click for a better view:

  02.02.2004: Mondragon Corporación Cooperativa renewed completely its website. It is now full of information in English, French, German, Spanish and Basque. See on http://www.mondragon.mcc.es/

  28.01.2004: Marco Caramelli (University of Montpellier, France) is developing a cross-cultural study of the attitudinal effects of employee stock ownership plans He looks for support.

  22.01.2004: Conference on employee financial participation in Europe, Paris, April 28-29, 2004. Organised by the French organisation "Europe et Société". They are still looking for speakers from EO companies in UK, Spain and other countries. Some EFES members are already registered as speakers: Erik Poutsma, Jean-Claude Mothié, Marc Mathieu. Here the draft programme in pdf. Registration on line on www.europeetsociete.com Contact: Jacques Moreau, Executive Manager, europeetsociete@wanadoo.fr

  07.01.2004: Employee ownership continues to be widely growing in the US. 23.3% of all employees working for for-profit companies report owning stock in their companies (this is 23 million employees); the number is 12,0% in companies employing less than 50 employees; it is 25,1% in companies between 50 and 499 employees; it is 38,7% in companies employing more than 500 people. How much do employees own actually: the mean is 84.409 $, which is 99,6% of their average annual pay. You find the complete results of this survey on page http://www.nceo.org/library/widespread.html

  5.9.2003: There are still many legal and political obstacles for employee share ownership in Europe. You find here the August issue of the European Financial Services Regulation. EFSR is a monthly magazine specialised in financial and legal cross European matters. In this month’s issue, EFES made a contribution attempting to address the various legal and political obstacles that promotion of employee financial participation encounters in Europe. The article calls for a more active involvement of the European Commission. It points the obstacle due to the dual management of the DG Enterprise on one hand and the DG Employment & Social Affairs on the other. This could be changed with the installation of the new Commission in 2004.

  BELGIUM WILL ENCOURAGE THE USE OF THE SPANISH MODEL OF THE"SOCIEDADES LABORALES"
Some ten years ago, Spain set up a new original corporate model - the Sociedades Laborales - employee owned companies. This model allowed Spain to start with 17.000 new companies, creating 105.000 new jobs within the last ten years, in all regions, all sectors in industry and services. A major success ! Most are small and medium-sized enterprises. Many of them are resulting from transfers of businesses or rescue plans. More recently, a lot of them are also new starters.
This model is based on the best practices in employee ownership.

A new Belgian government was installed in July 2003.
Following an information given by EFES (we organized an international conference at the Belgian Parliament), Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt confirms that Belgium will encourage the use of the Spanish model.

Prime Minister's letter is available in 4 languages (NL/EN/FR/ES) (pdf).

  THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE ARE NOW DISCUSSING OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION (January 1, 2003)
Let's first remember: In 1999 we launched a call to put employee share ownership on the European political agenda. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt promised to put the point on the table during the Lisbon Summit, and he did.
The promotion of employee financial participation was then on the European Social Agenda and the European Commission had to make a communication and an action plan; the Commission published its communication on July 5, 2002 (see here below).
The European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee are now discussing of the Communication and preparing their own opinion.


  EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE
The EESC set up a dedicated working group and the draft opinion of the EESC is well advanced, Mario Sepi (Italy, CISL) doing a very good work as the EESC Rapporteur. The preliminary draft opinion is here available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian (PDF). The EESC will decide on its opinion in its Plenary Session of February 26-27, 2003, after that the Section for Employment and Social Affairs will have discussed of the draft opinion on February 5. This is of high interest, the EESC beeing the voice of the European social partners.

  EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Winfried Menrad (Germany) is the Rapporteur. He already produced some good working documents. You can see the most recent working document here in English and in French (PDF), or in other languages (Spanish, Danish, German, Greek, Italian, Nederlands, Portuguese, Finish, Swedish), clicking on page http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/empl/20021209/empl20021209.htm
The Parliament will hold various working sessions on the point, going to a conclusion in May or June 2003.

  New Employee Ownership Legislation in UK (November 2002)
A new Employee Ownership Legislation was passed in UK Parliament on November 7th and will take place from 6th of April 2003. It will provide tax concessions for companies who transfer shares to an employee trust. Small and medium sized companies seeking to become partly or full employee owned will benefit from the new legislation. It also ensures that employee representatives can be appointed as trustees of trusts set up to manage employee share schemes. Full details are on the Inland Revenue web site www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/shareschemes

  News from Washington (October 2002)
We were in Washington from October 6 to 11 for the First International Conference of the Capital Ownership Group, with some 100 participants.
The COG is the global forum of Employee Share Ownership, whose EFES is the main European component. The objective is to promote employee share ownership as a main actor for "Fix globalization - Make it more inclusive, democratic, accountable and sustainable".Were present for EFES: Adrian Celaya, David Erdal, Henk Kool, Marc Mathieu, Erik Poutsma, Vic Thorpe, Pierre Vanrijkel, David Wheatcroft.All main US employee share ownership organizations were present, as well as people from Australia, South Africa, China, Colombia, Chili, etc.The participation of Mark Levin, of the Cooperative branch of the ILO (International Labour Organization, an UNO Agency) was relevant, as well as those of various people representing American trade unions and their pension funds. Clearly, there is a place for a global EO organization, acting at world level, and pressing the world organizations - ILO, World Bank, IMF, etc - in favour of employee share ownership and participation. The global level is now the field where a lot of debates take their full place : sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance, etc.COG's team: Deborah Olson, John Logue, Dan Bell, Steve Clem and others.

  News from Italy (October 2002)
We were invited to a very good conference held in Milano on Monday October 14.
It was organized by Fabi and Fiada (our friends Fabrizio Garberi, Gualtiero Di Re, and others) and Banca Popolare di Milano, 70 people attending. We were able to see how far they are in Italy from considering the need or urgency of a legislation on financial participation or employee share ownership. Probably progress will be done in this way in the following months thanks to Fabi and Fiada. ( Fabi is the trade union of bank employees; Fiada is the Italian Federation of EO Associations).

  BUDAPEST, February 28-March 2, 2002
SUCCESS OF THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR PROMOTING EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
The conference held in Budapest on February 28-March 2, 2002 was the main event and an important part of the project initiated by the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership to develop a network of individuals and organisations interested and active in promoting employee ownership and participation in the ten applicant Central and Eastern European Countries.
There were 55 participants on the conference from 18 countries, particularly all candidate Central and East European Countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia , Slovenia – 10 countries except Latvia) and some EU Member States (Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom) and even from the USA.
The conference gave the possibility to assess the situation concerning employee ownership and participation in the applicant CEE countries, to exchange information on the legal background and best practices on national and company level in the Member States and in the USA. This was the first time that representatives of almost all candidate countries were present and actively contributing to a joint initiative.
Within the framework of a workshop participants outlined the goals of the network for the next 3 years and for the coming year, expressing the great need for the continuation of the joint effort. The major aim of this joint effort is establish and maintain an active, and sustainable network, which is capable to connect all, who are committed to and interested in promoting employee ownership and participation. It should contribute to the dissemination of information about policy, research, and best practices in systematic and regular way, and as widely as possible in the ten applicant CEECs and in the Member States. To this end all the materials presented during the conference and the results of the planning workshop will be available soon in the website of the CEEO Network – www.efes-ceeo.net

  THIRD EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP THE HAGUE (NETHERLANDS) 25-28 APRIL 2001
ORGANIZING THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
This main event of our programme 2000/2001 was a success, involving more than 100 participants of 19 countries. Our p rogramme 2000/2001 is mainly dedicated to the ORGANIZATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION. The European Action Programme issued from the European Workshop of 30 April 1999 at the European Parliament, Brussels, placed the focus on this main priority. A particular accent was put on the implication of the social partners, trade unions as well as employers.
The European Commission together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of the Living and Working Conditions opened the meeting, announcing new major developments in European PEPPER policies in 2001. Professor Erik Poutsma was the main author of PEPPER II Report, and he is the main author of the new report that the Foundation and the Commission will publish in May on "Recent trends in employee financial participation in the EU".The Commission announced a "Communication on Financial Participation" and an action plan to be published later in 2001. These will be prepared through a wide consultation of all interested actors.
Members of the European Parliament Philippe Herzog (France) and Ieke van den Burg (Netherlands) made strong presentations supporting employee ownership and participation.
All main organizations implied in international exchanges of information about employee ownership and participation were present, explaining their activities and projects:
- the European Foundation in Dublin (the European research institution representing Member States and social partners);
- the International Labour Organization;
- the NCEO;
- the Capital Ownership Group;
- the GEO - Global Equity Organization;
- the International Associationfor Financial Participation.
Evelyne Pichot made a clarifying presentation on the new status for the European company: click here on PICHOT.
EFES held its Board meeting and Second annual general meeting of members. Report of the Board, accounts 2000 and budget 2001 were approved as well as the action programme for coming months. Some minor changes were decided in the Board and Executive Office.

  Employee ownership:  SAM/Dow Jones launches a new " responsible "  EO stock index
Sustainability Assets Management (SAM), the Swiss rating cabinet which manages Sustainability Dow-Jones Index jointly with the Dow-Jones company, has just launched the " Dow-Jones Employee Ownership Index ", a new stock index devoted to European companies having the best policies regarding employee share ownership.  According to the official release published by Dow-Jones, "employee share ownership presents many advantages of which companies are increasingly conscious, in particular while allowing, in a flexible way, to interest employees durably in the economic health of their company (...) Employee shareholders become more conscious of the strategic decisions and their implications."  The index counts 30 European securities of 10 countries (among which SAP, British Airways, Crédit Suisse, DaimlerChrysler, Royal Dutch Petroleum and United Utilities) and 6 French companies (Rhodia, Dexia, Société Générale, Aventis, Bouygues, Lafarge, and Technip).  Selected companies were chosen among the 600 companies of the DJ Stoxx 600 according to their answers to a questionnaire on employee ownership; the criteria are: the features of the employee share ownership program (30% of the note), its magnitude compared to the total number of employees and the capital (20%), the commitment of management in the program (20%), the quality of the communication around the program (20%) and finally the transparency of information (10%).  Let us note that bank ABN AMRO in Frankfurt makes it possible to invest in this index, calculated by Dow-Jones in a daily way.
 

Information:  http://www.sam-group.com/e/susindex/eoindex.cfm
 

  THIRD EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP THE HAGUE (NETHERLANDS) 25-28 APRIL 2001
ORGANIZING THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
This is the main event of our programme 2000/2001. Just click here for the PROGRAMME OF THE MEETING (pdf ADOBE).
Our programme 2000/2001 is mainly dedicated to the ORGANIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION. The European Action Programme issued from the European Workshop of 30 April 1999 at the European Parliament, Brussels, placed the focus on this main priority.
The project aims to organize the exchanges of information on employee ownership and participation, in particular legislation and practices. A particular accent will be put on the implication of the social partners, trade unions as well as employers.
The initiative is highly innovative:
- in Europe, there are scattered information efforts, but none at such a scale, or with the same degree of involvement from the various actors in more than 20 European countries (EU and associated countries).
- in the United States, significant initiatives have been taken and information exchanges are expanding quickly, although they essentially address the needs of American firms.
The Third European Meeting of Employee Shareownership will:
- develop a system of information exchange adapted to European needs (methods, content, management, dissemination and exchanges) by using existing European and American know-how;
- a very broad consultation of all those concerned in Europe, in particular the social partners, and a large mobilisation, in order to develop tools that could satisfy the needs of all interested parties;
- involve, for the first time, more than 20 countries (all of the countries of the European Union and the partner countries of Eastern and Central Europe) in a joint effort to exchange information on workers’ financial participation.
The THIRD EUROPEAN MEETING was prepared through an international seminar of experts in Paris on 8-9 December 2000 (see more details hereafter), and a follow-up meeting will take place in Brussels in October 2001.
Furthermore, a lot of specialised net-meetings will be held during the programme. The organization and the results of the programme will be spread particularly through the implementation of a big European internet portal giving access to information databases and to links with the relevant sites in Europe and in the world. The programme will associate all member organizations of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP, as well as the social partners of the European countries. It will be co-financed by the European Commission, and by public and private sponsors.

  23.2.2001: SOCIAL PARTNERS
Involving social partners, trade unions and employers organizations is a priority for EFES. We registered a database of 350 social partners of the European Union countries, being now able to send them our electronic newsletters. To be registered as a European social partner in this database, please call us.

  EFES BOARD SEMINAR OF EXPERTS, Paris 8-9 December 2000
The Board of EFES held an international seminar of experts in Paris on 8-9 December 2000 to prepare the next Third European Meeting of Employee Shareownership (The Hague 26-27-28 April 2001).
T
he seminar allowed the Board to be informed of the main initiatives and projects of international exchanges of information on employee ownership and participation:
- the NCEO and the "International Equity Compensation Database" project
- the Capital Ownership Group (COG)
- the Global Equity Organization (GEO)
- the International Association for Financial Participation (IAFP)
- the projects coming from the European Commission and the European Foundation in Dublin.
The seminar was highly productive and it opened large perspectives of cooperation between EFES and the other organizations. The report of our experts seminar is available, clicking here on: PARIS.

  EFES MAIL NEWS N°6 – 11.10.2000
The programme 2000/2001 of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP (EFES) will be dedicated to: “organizing the international exchanges of information on employee ownership and participation” and the Third European Meeting of Employee Shareownership in The Hague in April 2001. This will be prepared through an international seminar of 36 experts in Paris on 7-8-9-10 December 2000, and a lot of specialised net-meetings (you’ll be invited to take part). A particular accent will be put on the implication of the social partners, trade unions as well as employers. All this, with the support of the European Commission – Social Affairs.

  EFES MAIL NEWS N°5 - 24.10.2000
We have the great pleasure to inform you that EFES - the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP will collaborate in the conference in Paris on November 17 and 18 by the EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS INSTITUTE (IES), on the subject: " Employee shareholding in Europe: Mode of management of modish management? Profit sharing or power sharing? "

EFES MAIL NEWS N°4 – 10.07.2000
EFES PROGRAMME 2000/2001
The executive office of EFES (EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION) had a good meeting in London, 20-21 June and we discussed a lot of decisions.
We'll have two main action programmes for year 2000/2001:
1. Under management of EFES secretariat, a programme with our first priority: "organizing the exchanges of information about employee ownership and participation" (website, international database, newsletter, etc). Preparatory experts meetings in November/December 2000 (maybe in Paris), a big meeting at spring 2001 (maybe in The Netherlands), follow-up expert meetings in autumn 2001 (+ statutory internal meetings of EFES).
2. Under management of the Hungarian organization (with EFES partnership), a programme with our second priority: the European networking and the CEEC's.
Would you like to take part or to co-operate, please let us know.
On the other hand, we have the great pleasure to inform you that the Belgian Government gave to EFES his recognition as an international association, by a King's Arrest of 1.2.2000. So the legal organization of EFES is now complete, with good statutes, clarity on procedures, elected board of directors, executive office, president and secretary general. All what we need to make of EFES the large and open federation we want, with employee owners, companies, trade unions, experts, etc, all those people who are looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.


  EFES/FEAS MAIL NEWS Nr 3 – 15.11.1999
SUCCESS OF THE SECOND EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS,
WARSAW 12-13 NOVEMBER 1999
The success of the Second European Meeting (12-13 November in Warsaw) was of first importance, just as the First European Meeting in May 1998 in Brussels.
- The meeting was held in the splendid rooms of the Polish Parliament and people had come in great numbers from Poland, and from the other European countries and the USA.
- The meeting was opened by the President of the Polish Parliament, a lot of members of the Polish Government took part, as well as the Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Poland, and the President of the main Polish trade union (SOLIDARNOSC) was present to express the support of his organisation.
- The European Partnership day on 12 November allowed the participants to make their evaluation of the introduction of employee ownership and participation in the CEECs and to draw the policy framework for European partnership for EO and participation.
- The first General Meeting of members of EFES (EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION) was held on Saturday 13 November, with 29 members present or represented.
- The project of statutes for EFES as an international non-profit organisation was adopted.
- The new Board of Directors of EFES was elected, with 21 people representing 13 countries.
- The Executive Office of EFES was elected, with 7 people coming from the United Kingdom, Hungary, France, Poland, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands, and the Executive Office named its President.
- Finally, the Secretary General of EFES was elected unanimously.
- Robert OAKESHOTT and Ron GILBERT were applauded as the first Honorary Members of EFES.
- Lastly, the participants held a workshop to discuss the European Action Programme of EFES to promote PEPPER policies troughout Europe.
We call all people, employee owners and all persons, companies or institutions, unions, managers and others : please, become a member of EFES (see membership form joined), in order to promote employee ownership and participation and to form as representative a federation as possible in all the countries of Europe.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EFES :
1. ASSOCIATION OF EMPLOYEE SHAREHOLDERS OF BBL, represented by Pierre VANRIJKEL, Director, BELGIUM
2. Evgenie KOSTOURKOV, member of OWNERSHIP FOUNDATION, BULGARY
3. Erik MAALOE, professor at the AARHUS SCHOOL, DENMARK
4. Gorm WINTHER, professor at the GREENLAND UNIVERSITY, DENMARK
5. ALEXANDER CORPORATE FINANCE OY, represented by Erkki HELANIEMI, FINLAND
6. Serge CIMMATI, member of the FRENCH FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATION OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, FRANCE
7. Patrick GUIOL, of the CNRS – UNIVERSITY OF RENNES 1, FRANCE
8. Raymond GUILLAUME, former employee shareholder of ELF/TOTALFINA, FRANCE
9. MRP - HUNGARIAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, represented by Janos LUKACS, Executive Director, HUNGARY
10. CGIL – CONFEDERAZIONE GENERALE ITALIANA DEL LAVORO, represented by Walter CERFEDA, National Secretary, ITALY
11. Mauro BOSSOLA, member of the FIADA – ITALIAN FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, ITALY
12. NETHERLANDS PARTICIPATION INSTITUTE, represented by Henk KOOL, Executive Director, NETHERLANDS
13. UNIA WLASNOSCI – POLISH FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, represented by Kris LUDWINIAK, Director, POLAND
14. UNIA WLASNOSCI – POLISH FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, represented by Jacek LIPINSKI, President, POLAND
15. SINERGIA – SINDICATO DA ENERGIA, represented by Armenio SIMOES MATIAS, PORTUGAL
16. DEZAP – SLOVENIAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, represented by Bozidar LEDNIK, Executive Director, SLOVENIA
17. DRUSTVO DELNICAR – INSTITUTE FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, represented by Gojko STANIC, Vice President, SLOVENIA
18. JOB OWNERSHIP Ltd, represented by David ERDAL, Executive Director, UNITED KINGDOM
19. David WHEATCROFT, member of the CENTRE FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION, UNITED KINGDOM
20. Deborah Groban OLSON, member of the NCEO – NATIONAL CENTER OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, President, USA
21. CECOP – EUROPEAN CONFEDERATION OF PRODUCERS’ CO-OPERATIVES, represented by Rainer SCHLUTER, Secretary General, EUROPEAN UNION


  EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF EFES
Janos LUKACS, HUNGARY
David ERDAL, UNITED KINGDOM
Kris LUDWINIAK, POLAND
Henk KOOL, NETHERLANDS
Pierre VANRIJKEL, BELGIUM
Mauro BOSSOLA, ITALY
Patrick GUIOL or Serge CIMMATI (to be confirmed), France
 
The Executive Office called Pierre VANRIJKEL to be its President.
 

EFES MAIL NEWS 2  - 11.11.1999
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT STRENGTHENS PROVISIONS ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP IN 2000 BUDGET
As reported previously, EFES has established constructive relations with members of the European Parliament of varied political and national backgrounds, who have joined our efforts to strengthen the cause of employee ownership and participation in the European Union and applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Up to 1999, the EU budget contained a short and very general phrase in budget line B3-4000 on ‘Industrial relations and social dialogue’ on financial support to ‘pilot projects to promote workers’ financial participation ‘. After suggestions by EFES, the European Parliament has now specified, in its first reading of the 2000 budget, that it will
‘… also cover expenditure to promote good examples and networks, as well as studies and further training measures to implement the proposals in the Commission report on PEPPER II’
It is expected that this amendment will be reconfirmed in the second reading of the budgetary process in December. For the first time, the Commission’s PEPPER report (Promotion of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise Results) is mentioned in the budget. This will then be a firm basis to stimulate the European Commission to intensify and broaden its own activities and those of organisations like FEAS, researchers and other important actors in the promotion of ESOP.
This amendment reflects the conclusions of the First European Workshop on Employee Ownership and Participation of April 99, where the participants drafted a European action plan calling for the development of models of good practice, exchange of information, training and research at the European level.

  FIRST STEPS…
We launched our first call to set up a European Federation in 1997. On 7 & 8 May 1998, we held the FIRST EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, under the Presidency of Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and  Deputy Prime-Minister Janusz Tomaszewski of Poland. 248 people were present, coming from 28 countries, and they took the decision to create the European Federation. After that, a first board of around 30 people was held,  to organize the federation and discuss the project of its statutes. On 30 April 1999, we had our FIRST EUROPEAN WORSHOP FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION at the European Parliament, Brussels, with an EUROPEAN ACTION PROGRAMME as a conclusion. Finally, the statutes of EFES were adopted by the first general meeting of members, during the SECOND EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, in Warsaw on 12-13 November 1999. The Belgian Government gave his recognition to EFES as an international not-for-profit organization by a King’s Arrest of 1.1.2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

For information and contact
EFES - EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP
FEAS - FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DE L'ACTIONNARIAT SALARIE
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
E-mail: efes@efesonline.org
Web site: www.efesonline.org
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.