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Commissioner Barnier: Employee ownership, symbol of social cohesion
  Employee ownership is a symbol of the social cohesion which Europe needs in this time. It has to be supported at all levels. This was the conclusion expressed by the European Commissioner for Internal Market Michel Barnier and the President of the Commission for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, Pervenche Berès, after the public hearing held in the European Parliament on March 22. A budget proposal was laid on the table of the Parliament for supporting the development of employee ownership in all European countries… More information

Employee ownership in European countries in 2011
Capital held by employee owners in European companies raised to 232 billion Euro in 2011, not so far from its highest in 2007, and the share held by employees in their companies increased to 2.83%, going back to its positive trend (see graph hereafter). More information

Press review
We made a selection of 33 remarkable articles in 9 countries in March 2012: Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, South Africa, UK, USA.
Austria: New employee ownership foundation for the Österreichische Staatsdruckerei. Following voestalpine's CEO Wolfgang Eder, employee ownership is a good protection against hostile takeovers.
Canada: Various studies show 7 to 10 per cent of Canadian workers participate in some form of employee ownership.
France: French unions vote against the proposal of an employee share plan for La Poste. New employee share plans for Safran, for Schneider Electric and for Technip. French presidential election: Six proposals by the French confederation of workers' cooperatives to support employee buyouts and employee-owned companies.
Germany: Questions about employee ownership in Germany and the political scandal about the failure of Schlecker drugstore chain.
Poland: Privatisation of the Military Printing would bring 15% in employee shares.
South Africa: More than 33 000 employees of Harmony Gold will become owners of direct shares in the company through its employee share ownership plan (Esop).
UK: Calls for a dedicated minister for employee share ownership. Interview with Graeme Nuttall, the new British Government's adviser on employee ownership. The Budget should start a new wave of employee ownership in the UK.
USA: More businesses selling themselves to employees. Companies with employee stock ownership were four times less likely to lay off employees during the Great Recession than conventionally owned companies. Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation that would help make it easier for business owners to establish an ESOP.

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
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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