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Promising year 2008
A lot of things seem promising for a new political impulse to employee ownership across Europe. Germany is going fast to a new legislation, Austrian Government is working hard, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxemburg launched a call some weeks ago, the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership is in place in UK, some new Member States seem opening doors, for instance Slovenia (going to a new legislation for employee ownership in 2008), and the next French Presidency of the European Union could be a good opportunity.

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in December 2007, with 1.059 articles in this press review (on which 361 involving stock options and 187 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of  32 remarkable articles in 10 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Latvia, UK, USA, South Africa.
The newspaper industry is facing a deep crisis. In the USA, it is now finalized: Eight months after announcing the proposed transaction, billionaire Sam Zell has assumed control of the Tribune Company (21.000 employees, a $8.2 billions deal), and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan will own 100% of Tribune's shares. "It will become the kind of flagship company that United Airlines was for its years as an ESOP" says Corey Rosen, Executive Director of the National Center for Employee Ownership.
France: At the same time, the crisis rebounds in the French biggest newspaper Le Monde. After 6 months, the new Directors resign, being in conflict with employee owners. On the other hand, political debates are continuing about stock options – We want "stock options for all", Prime Minister François Fillon said.
Austria: Discussions about employee ownership, with some good examples in wide Austrian companies, for instance Voestalpine or Oberbank.
Germany: Going to a compromise between SPD and CDU for a new legislation favouring employee ownership.
Latvia: Questions about possible employee ownership schemes for Lattelecom privatization.
Spain: Many employee-owned companies (sociedades laborales) found their origin in rescuing failing enterprises. To face crisis seems easier for employee-owned companies.
United Kingdom: Revision of capital gains tax delayed. It is feared that the Chancellor’s planned changes would see a reduction in shared ownership.

The press review is available on:

This is how much an employee held in 2006, in average, in shares of:

UBS  87.000 €
Total 47.000 €
Novartis 48.000 €
Mondragon 54.000 €
DeutscheBank 61.000 €
SocGen 38.000 €
BNPParibas 30.000 €
CréditAgricole 48.000 €
AXA 27.000 €
Bouygues 23.000 €

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
Web site:
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.

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