The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), is due to rule this year on whether German supervisory board co-determination is compatible with EU law. The case was brought by a small shareholder in TUI who claims that statutory co-determination at supervisory board level discriminates against nationals of other EU countries because the employees of foreign subsidiaries cannot vote in the supervisory board elections of the parent company. Much to everyone’s surprise, in autumn 2015 the Court of Appeal in Berlin referred the case to the CJEU, requesting a ruling on whether German supervisory board co-determination in transnational companies constitutes an infringement of the non-discrimination principle and employees’ freedom of movement. The Court of Appeal thinks that this may indeed be the case. This summer, the European Commission published an opinion that supports and even reinforces this view. It states that current co-determination law may hinder employees’ freedom of movement or make it less attractive. This prompted DGB president Reiner Hoffmann and BDA President Ingo Kramer to write a joint article in the Handelsblatt newspaper at the end of September dismissing these arguments as absurd and out of touch and making it clear that any changes to co-determination are entirely a matter for the Federal Republic of Germany. The case’s implications are debated here by political scientist Martin Höpner and labour law expert Manfred Weiss

via Co-determination Under Threat: Blocking Social Europe

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