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Presidency of the European Union Council – Conference on employee ownership
The conference expressed its support to the European Economic and Social Committee, asking for:
Regarding large companies: Each European country should make available "an optional simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax-arrangements and incentives throughout the EU".
Regarding SMEs: Each European country should strongly encourage business transmission to employees as the USA did since 1974 – this is the concept of a "European ESOP model" for SMEs.
The report of the conference is now available. Read more

Center for Strategic Analysis of the French Republic

According to the Center for Strategic Analysis of the French Republic, the social performance of a company having employee share ownership is 52% higher than that of companies which have neither employee share ownership nor employee savings plan. The effectiveness of employee share ownership has to be reinforced by ensuring the representation of employee shareholders. Read more

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in January 2011, with 1.420 articles in this press review (on which 533 involving stock options and 288 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 36 remarkable articles in 12 countries: Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Poland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, UK, USA.
Austria: Steel company VoestAlpine celebrates its successful employee ownership scheme.
France: GDF Suez going to abandon stock options and preferably to use performance and free shares. Mondragon cooperatives seen as a good example. French workers cooperatives launch a national campaign.
Germany: German companies have much work to do about employee ownership. In international comparisons, employee ownership appears clearly underdeveloped in Germany compared to other European countries and the USA. German legislation should be more supportive. Siemens association of employee shareholders complains about executives' remuneration.
India: After a hiatus in 2008 and a mild revival in 2009, 2010 saw a spectacular revival in employee stock options. Nearly 100,000 IBM India employees are set to receive a $1,000 stock bonus each.
Ireland: The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions joins the board of directors of Aer Lingus, having been appointed by the airline’s Employee Share Ownership Trust.
Italy:  A new way of employee financial participation for Fiat ? Banco Popolare di Milano: Employee owners maybe going from 3.7% to 10%.
Poland: Struggles over employee privatization in Poland. A scheme supporting employee privatization was adopted in 2009 but now seen as a fiasco. Polish Employers oppose to its proposed liquidation. On the other hand, Polish Ministry of the Economy wants to introduce new employee ownership schemes.
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka bank to use performance driven stock options.
Switzerland: New tax benefits for employee ownership schemes. Many publicly listed companies in Switzerland rely on employee share plans and their financial motivation incentives.
UK: John Lewis to boost UK job market. The employee owned retail Giant has revealed plans that will create thousands jobs this year and to expand overseas, taking the department store global by the end of 2011. Conservative Chair of the All-Party group on Employee Ownership at Westminster publishes a new book on the Big Society.
USA: For more than two decades, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have served as an effective succession planning tool and providing significant tax advantages. The ESOP Association submits comments on tax reform. Several reasons ESOPs are a suitable succession strategy for businesses.

The full press review is available on:

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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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