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The new "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership in European Countries" was released on March 8.
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New Record Year for Employee Share Ownership in Europe

This is a new record year for employee share ownership in Europe, with nearly 400 billion Euro held by employees in their company or 3.20%. 86.6% of all large European companies have employee share plans. Their number increased by 3 to 4% on average each year since 2006, a solid growth. The rise is back for the number of employee shareholders, with 7.5 million people in large European companies. By adding one million employee shareholders in SMEs, the total figure reaches 8.5 million. And the decline in the democratization rate of employee share ownership has been stopped, a remarkable result due to the positive policy choices made in many countries.

In addition, the imbalance ceased to widen between European countries.

Following the crisis, some European countries (including the UK) had chosen for stronger incentive policies, promoting employee share ownership and long term savings as an investment for the future. Instead of that, some other countries (including France) had chosen to reduce public spending and to support household consumption, while incentives for long term savings and for employee share ownership were sacrificed. This had a strong impact on the democratization rate of employee share ownership in Europe.

After the negative phase from 2009 to 2013, policy decisions are positive again in most European countries. The democratization rate stabilized in Europe and both in the UK and on the continent.

A rebound can even be observed in France following the "Macron Law", with 37% of all employees holding shares in large French companies in 2017. This illustrates the high elasticity of employee share ownership to fiscal incentives in France.

Press review
We have a selection of 22 remarkable articles in 7 countries in February 2018: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, UK, USA.
France: French Governments confirms the will to boost employee share ownership policy. New employee share plan for Engie. Good and bad days for workers cooperatives in France..
Germany: Cewe Group: 81% of employee shareholders amongst 3.500 employees. Germany remains dramatically reluctant to equity investments.
Hungary: Herend Porcelain Manufactory is still a leading figure of employee share ownership in Hungary.
Italy: Assonline is the employee shareholders association of Italiaonline Group.
Morocco: Employee share plan for Airbus.
UK: Jerba Campervans sold to an Employee Ownership Trust.
USA: Numerous new firms turning to ESOPs. New Belgium will cut 4% of its workforce. ESOP companies go bankrupt much less often than non-ESOP companies, - unfortunately, Appvion is not one of them. Beneficiaries of employee share plans call for financial wellness programs which would provide education, tools and resources to help with their overall financial health.

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: +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 share ownership and participation in Europe.

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