What is a European Works Council?

The European Works Council (EWC) is an employee representation body in companies operating across borders in the EU or EEA.

The EWC represents the interests of the employees vis-à-vis the company or group management.

Its competence is limited to decisions and developments that have a cross-border impact on the employees of the company or group of companies. The Swiss employee representation is responsible for national matters.

The EWC has the right to information and consultation by the management. The legal basis of the EWC is the European Works Council Directive of 22 September 1994.

Participation of Swiss Representatives

Switzerland is neither a member of the EU nor of the European Economic Area. Swiss companies that are also active in the EU must also set up a European Works Council or create a procedure for informing and consulting employees. Swiss employee representatives can sit on this body.

Because Switzerland has not integrated the European Works Council Directive into national law, there is no legal basis for Swiss EWC members. They therefore only have observer status in some cases.


Hansjörg Schmid

Hansjörg Schmid