The Treatment of Employees as Stakeholders in the European Union: Current and Future Trends
Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 91 - 171, 2010
81 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2011 Last revised: 21 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2010
The European Union is a free trade area made up of Member States with significantly divergent corporate governance systems, legal traditions and labor costs. That being the case, the question arises: will these factors prompt convergence amongst the Member States’ corporate governance systems and what impact will that have on the treatment of employees as stakeholders? This paper seeks to determine if either the shareholder-primacy or stakeholder-pluralist model will gain dominance in the EU. The natural result of the Anglo-American shareholder-primacy system emerging victorious would be the curtailment of employee rights as stakeholders. However, the author will seek to demonstrate that the far greater likelihood is that all EU Member States will move gradually in the direction of stakeholder-pluralist systems. This occurrence is in response to European Union legislation that has created minimum standards for employee involvement, or 'voice,' in corporations. Furthermore, it is likely that in the future the EU institutions will seek to strengthen employee involvement in corporations in keeping with the aim of creating a social market economy.
Keywords: Corporate Governance, European Union, Stakeholders, Employees
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation