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New call from the European institutions
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held "the week of employee financial participation" some days ago in Brussels. The EESC is the body that gives representatives of Europe's social partners and civil society a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. A new call was launched for developing employee ownership in European companies.

  Each Member State of the EU should made available "an optional simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax arrangements and incentives throughout the EU". This is mainly targetting an harmonized and easiest way for multinational employee share plans.
  The "ESOP model" for business transmission to employees in SMEs should be implemented in the European Union, as it is successfully in the USA since 1974. This is the only relevant way to develop employee ownership in SMEs.
  A dedicated budget heading should be voted by the European Parliament, allowing the setting up and financing of a European Center for Employee Ownership in each European country, for delivering information, formation and advices to employees, enterprises and the public at large. More information

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in September 2011, with 1.466 articles in this press review (on which 414 involving stock options and 389 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 41 remarkable articles in 11 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, UK, USA, Zimbabwe.
Canada: The model of "employee shareholders cooperatives" for business transmissions in SMEs.

France: Bouygues' share repurchase offer will benefit to employees which hold 20% of the company's share capital. New employee share plan for Suez Environnement. British-based Gripple successfully promotes employee ownership in its French subsidiary. Tenth issue of the French Annual Barometer of Employee Savings published by Altedia and BNP Paribas: 82% of employees and 88% of enterprises in 2011 consider employee share ownership positively. CFDT Union proposes to set up a workers cooperative to rescue SeaFrance ferries.
Germany: Two new research works about employee ownership and participation in Germany, in Austria and Switzerland.
India: A recent report reveals that ESOPs are being increasingly used by Indian companies.
Ireland: Possible changes for Aer Lingus, the Irish State retaining a 25 per cent stake while the employee share ownership trust owns a further 14 per cent of the shares.
Italy: Italy's central bank criticised the excessive influence employee shareholders held over the mutual bank's strategy in Banca Popolare di Milano. On the other hand, Italy was still unable to implement adequate legislation for employee ownership as other European countries did, which fragilizes Italy's position.
Spain: A Basque Country-based cooperative of the Mondragon Group manufacturing polymer automotive components has announced its agreement to buy a 50% stake into Indian business. Employee shareholders of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) hold 30% of the fifth world producer of railway systems.
Tunisia: Tunisian Minister of Finance pleads for employee ownership.
UK: Employee-owned John Lewis group battered by financial crisis. Education and training provider Prospects Group is to become an employee-owned mutual. Since the UK employee ownership index (EOI), which monitors the share price performance of listed companies that are over 10% owned by employees, started in 1992, employee-owned companies have outperformed FTSE All-Share companies by an average of 11% each year. Labour and Conservatives singing the praises of employee owned businesses as the future of British enterprise.
USA: Pro-ESOP bill introduced in Senate. Results from the 20th Annual Economic Performance Survey of ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) companies show that ESOPs have seen an upturn over the past year, even amid slow economic recovery.
Zimbabwe: Debates about "indigenisation" plans through employee share ownership: Defy to understanding or boost workers incomes in the long run?

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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