On March 22, 2012, the European Parliament held a public hearing on employee ownership in European countries. Even with the financial crisis sweeping through Europe, the prevailing thought among European Union (EU) members at the meeting is that employee ownership is still considered “…a vital contribution to healthier corporate governance, long-term vision and stability,” according to a report issued by the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership. The report also stated over 27% of the largest European companies have employee ownership and use it in a strategic way.
A call has been put out for a new European initiative on employee ownership in Europe. The European Economic and Social Committee was behind the proposal to increase employee ownership in the EU and requested a budget line to promote employee ownership and the need for participation among European companies.
“It’s interesting to see the work the European Union is doing to promote employee ownership,” said ESOP Association President and Employee Ownership Foundation President, J. Michael Keeling.
The EU model of employee ownership differs vastly from the U.S. ESOP model and actually differs among the EU countries as well. However, it has been noted that the U.S. ESOP is the model for what the EU is trying to do in terms of synchronizing the concept in the EU.
If you would like additional information about the public hearing on employee ownership or to view the annual economic survey of ownership in Europe, please visit the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership website: http://www.efesonline.org/.
The Employee Ownership Foundation, the affiliated foundation of The ESOP Association, is a member of the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership.