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239 pages
evolution 2006-2020
main findings of census 2020
more than 100 tables and graphs
democratization rate in various countries
list of all most remarkable companies
ordinary employees and top executives
employee representation on boards
discrimination in voting rights
ownership control
listed companies
and much more

An exhaustive picture based on the EFES database (the 2.750 European companies gathering 95% of employment in all European listed companies).




in partnership with

  New progression in Europe

The new Annual Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership in 2020 reveals a new progression towards employee share ownership in Europe last year, even during this new crisis.

The upward trend in the number of employee shareholders continues, with 7.1 million people in large companies (Graph 1). If we add one million employee shareholders in SMEs, the total number in Europe reaches 8.1 million.

Together they held 310 billion Euro in May 2020, down from 350 billion a year earlier. This was the first shock of the pandemic crisis. Since then, however, many perspectives have changed and at the beginning of 2021, European employees hold 420 billion Euro in shares in their companies, a record figure never reached before.

The development of employee share ownership has continued in large European companies in 2020. More and more of them are organizing employee share plans. In 2020, 94% of all large European companies had employee share ownership, on which 88% had employee share plans of all kinds, while 53% had "broad-based" plans for all employees, and 60% had stock option plans. Finally, 29% of all large European companies launched new employee share plans, a proportion that tends to increase from year to year.

The pandemic crisis is far from being the first crisis experienced by European employee share ownership. For the more than 50 years that employee share plans have been tested in large European companies, crises of all kinds have occurred repeatedly. Each time, the scenario of malicious interpretations and warnings is the same: "we told you so", "it's far too risky", "this time it's done, employee share ownership is dead". Yet the facts are there: For more than 50 years, European employee share ownership has not ceased to confound the naysayers. The more employee ownership spreads, the more it is supported.

Graph 1

Graph 2


Yet employee share ownership is in danger within Europe. It is becoming less and less democratic. The fall in the democratisation rate of employee share ownership has been dramatic over the last ten years (Graph 2), and this affects all European countries, with the notable exception of the UK. This fall is mainly linked to the relocation trend of large European companies. In the context of rapid relocation and lack of tax harmony, it is increasingly difficult for companies to export their employee share plans outside their home country.

Your comments

"Bravo pour ce rapport très clair et complet !"

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"Salve vi invio la mia tesi magistrale sull'azionariato dei dipendenti in Italia e vi ringrazio perché dal vostro lavoro ho potuto prendere spunti interessanti."

"Anyway thanks to you and your hard work, and your wonderful reports - I am an associate professor now, so thank you very much for your help. Now I am preparing this version in English, so I try to put the most recent data."

"That's really great work! Congratulations and thank you. I think the survey is very helpful for the discussion here in Germany. We will publish it on our homepage and distribute the paper in our network. Best wishes"

"Merci pour ce travail récurrent si précieux !"

"Remarkable work ! Thanks and congratulation".

"Nous sommes en phase de finalisation du texte concernant une saisine au CESE en France. Votre publication pourrait nous être fort utile."

"Muchas gracias por la información y felicitaciones..."

"I would be very eager to update my analysis based on new data."

"Can you provide data on individual companies, e.g. in an excel spread sheet, so we can see which companies have stock options? This would be very useful for our statistical analysis."

"Sans votre soutien précieux, en m'aidant à constituer la base de données statistiques ayant permis la réalisation des deux études quantitatives longitudinales de l'impact de l'actionnariat salarié sur la performance des grandes entreprises françaises cotées, ma thèse n'aurait pas pu voir le jour."

  Database of European companies
The data are available for analysing companies, for benchmarking, for market research, as well as for research work and teaching, and for macroeconomic analysis. The database gathers economic and financial information about employee ownership in the 2.750 largest European companies, including listed and non-listed companies. More information

  The European Employee Ownership Top 100
The European Employee Ownership TOP 100 is designed with respect to two rankings of Europe's largest companies, considering employee ownership. In the EUROCAP100 ranking, companies are ranked by equity held by employees, in million Euro. In the EUROEMP100 ranking, companies that are 50% or more employee-owned are ranked by number of employees. Both rankings are published in the Economic Survey.

Each European country can easily be compared to others through a specific country file, using a set of 10 graphs, using fully comparable information, for instance: France


  Economic Survey 2019
  Economic Survey 2018
  Economic Survey 2017
  Economic Survey 2016
  Economic Survey 2015
  Economic Survey 2014
  Economic Survey 2013
  Economic Survey 2012
  Economic Survey 2011

  Economic Survey 2010
  Economic Survey 2009
  Economic Survey 2008
  Economic Survey 2007





For information and contact
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 791 96 00
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 ownership and participation in Europe.