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 Threat in Norway

It begins in Denmark.

Under the spectre of the financial crisis, one of the first acts of the new Danish government in 2011 (Helle Thorning-Schmidt, social democrat) was to stop all incentives for employee ownership. Five years later, in 2016, one of the first acts of the new Danish government (Lars Rasmussen, liberal conservatives) was to restore these incentives as they were.

But there was nothing to be done. Fatal political instability. Reinvestment in new employee share plans did not take place, companies did not return to it.

Today, Denmark is once again led by a social democratic government. It dreams of promoting “democratic” companies.

And now there’s Norway.

It is not the best-placed country in Europe for the development of employee share ownership, with 40,000 employee shareholders, accounting for only 10% of the total workforce of large companies. To catch up, the Norwegian government decided to increase incentives for employee share plans in 2021.

But then there were elections. New social democratic government. Surprise, surprise: The project changed. The aim now is to abolish all tax incentives for employee share ownership, which is seen as a source of inequality.

Nonetheless, it has long been established that employee ownership benefits not only the direct beneficiaries and the companies, but also the all-round quality of life for the general population.

In the Norwegian press, the arguments for and against clash with each other, with organisations and unions divided.

See the press review    

Press review
We have a selection of 33 remarkable articles in 8 countries in November 2021: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Rwanda, UK, USA.
Australia: Paving the way for the generalization of Employee Ownership Trusts in Australia.
France: New employee share plan for Air Liquide, for Thales, for Orange, for Focus Home, for Capgemini. Success for workers' co-operatives in Alsace.
Germany: Special Edition 2021 - Update on employee participation plans in Germany.
Italy: The social partners remain little involved in the implementation of employee share plans. Generali honored for its new employee share plan.
Norway: Political threat.
Rwanda: Why stock options work?
UK: One in 20 of all business transmissions is now to an Employee Ownership Trust. Every day a new SME is transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust as for instance this month: Reid & Fraser, Talbots Law, Tapestry, Sapphire, Chronos Technology, Clegg Group, Wee Blue Coo, Greenwood, Altar, International Organisation Development, Davison Fencing. Should the 'S' in ESG analysis be extended to include employee share ownership?
USA: How Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) work. EOTs are relatively new in the United States.

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)2 791 96 00
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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.