Employee financial participation

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Employee Financial Participation

Call from the European Economic and Social Committee

Interest and support for employee ownership have to be relaunched in Europe. This is the message from the European Economic and Social Committee, in a new Own-Initiative Opinion.

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.

In February 2010, the EESC decided to draw up an own-initiative opinion on Employee Financial Participation. This own-initiative opinion was voted in the EESC's plenary session on October 21, 2010.

  • The EESC calls for a new European Council Recommendation concerning the promotion of employee ownership and proposals to deal with obstacles to cross-border employee share plans.
  • Furthermore, it calls on the European institutions and governments for a renewed initiative to support employee ownership and financial participation, and to promote the idea of a European EFP Model based on the "Building Block Approach". Considering large companies, each country should firstly made available "an optional simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax arrangements and incentives throughout the EU".
  • On the other hand, the EESC Opinion adresses the issue of employee ownership in SMEs as a vehicle for business succession and stresses the importance of the ESOP model in this context. One of the focusses are SMEs since "one of the flagships of the EU 2020 Strategy is to give a strong focus to the delivery of the Small Business Act, in particular with a view to improving the financial situations of SMEs. Here EFP can be one of the mechanisms implemented to support this goal and thus enhance the competitiveness of European SMEs".
  • Overall, the EESC asks for a designated budget line to support related activities by the EU budget.

SOC/371 EESC Opinion on employee financial participation in Europe (21 Oct 10): http://www.efesonline.org/EESC/SOC%20371%20EN.pdf

Source: EFES News, December 2010 http://www.efesonline.org/EFES%20NEWS/2010/EFES%20NEWSLETTER%20-%2012-2010%20EN.htm