Works council representatives may also be appointed to the board of directors.
As with co-determination, there are three main views about why works councils primarily exist: to reduce workplace conflict by improving and systematising communication channels; to increase bargaining power of workers at the expense of owners by means of legislation; and to correct market failures by means of public policy.
The EWC Directive applies to companies with at least 1,000 employees within the EU and at least 150 employees in each of at least two EEA countries.
The EWC Directive was revised by the Council and the European Parliament in May 2009. The changes contained in the new ("Recast") Directive must be transposed into national law by 5 June 2011, and have important implications for all companies in scope of the legislation, both those with an existing European Works Council and those yet to have set one up.