Twitter #EWCdb

  1. General information
  2. Database structure
  3. Features
  4. Search criteria
  5. Sectors of activity and NACE codes used in the database
  6. Free graphs & statistics
  7. Access to the database
  8. Quoting the database and disclaimer
  9. Brief history of the database

General information

The EWC database is a specific service by the European Trade Union Institute ( provided since 1998.  It is the unique and most comprehensive source of information on EWCs and SE and SCE works councils and the content of their agreements.

The EWC database has a threefold aim:

  1. monitoring EWC and SE Works Council as well as SCE (Societas Cooperative Europaea, European Cooperative Society) population;
  2. analysing evolutions of EWCs, SE works councils and SCEs;
  3. providing information to practitioners, policy makers and researchers on EWCs.

The online portal of the database was made available to the public in 2006. It underwent a major update in 2015 when new functions were added (see History for details).

The database currently contains information on:

  • European Works Councils and SE (Societas Europaea) works councils as well as SCE (Societas Cooperative Europaea) works councils;
  • agreements (demographics + content analysis + full text search) setting up EWCs, SE works councils and SCE works councils;
  • multinational companies (MNCs; basic information) in which EWCs, SE works councils (European Companies) and SCE works councils were established;
  • selected provisions (examples of arrangements) from EWC, SE and SCE agreements;
  • additional agreements co-signed by EWCs (Transnational Company Agreements);
  • EU and national legislation regulating operation of EWCs (Legislation);
  • court cases (national level, European Court of Justice) relevant for EWCs and transnational workers' information and consultation;
  • selected related news linked to operation of EWCs.

In delivering this service the ETUI co-operates with the European Trade Union Federations (EU level trade union organisations at sectoral level) and with a network of external partners.

The EWC dataservice is provided by the Research Department of the ETUI, specifically by its working unit 'Europeanisation of industrial relations' within the frames of a framework project within the ETUI's European Workers' Participation Competence Centre. The EWPCC provides also further information on workers' transnational information, consultation and participation:

  • Further information on EWCs, SEs and SE works councils as well as SCEs, transnational information and consultation rights and board level participation in a broader context can be found on another topical website:
  • Another highly relevant service of the ETUI is a database of SE companies (

The latest service relevant for EWC and SE works councils is the ETUI's NEW training portal at ( launched in December 2015 allowing access to training and relevang educational materials for worker representatives and EWC and SE works council members.

Database structure

The EWCdb is a relational database of EWC and SE WC agreements, EWCs, SE WCs and multinational companies managed by the ETUI (European Trade Union Institute). The relational dataset has three major content types:

  1. First of all, the database consists of EWC agreements. These are signed agreements between the management representatives and the employee representatives of a certain company for the establishment of transnational information and consultation bodies or procedures. These agreements (original agreements setting up EWCs/SE works councils and/or amendments or other related documents, such as e.g. court cases/judgements of the courts) are registered in the dataset including some demographical data (date of signature) and an analysis of the agreement content using a coding guide.
  2. The second content type is the EWC body. The EWC bodies are officially installed council for transnational information and consultation under the EU EWC regulation. To such bodies, a number of agreements are linked: an agreement officially installing the body and, if applicable, possible renegotiations or amendments to that original installation agreement as well as further documents such as news pieces, court judgements, etc. A single agreement can also be linked to two different bodies if, in a single global company, several EWCs are established.
  3. The third content type is the (multinational) company. This content type includes information on the company size, its ownership structure and its activities in various EU countries. Again, a single company can be linked to several EWC bodies if there is more than one council active in its subsidiaries.

To sum up, in the database there are: Companies (multinational companies, MNCs) having (one or more) European Works Councils, (based upon one or more) Agreements.

Additionally EWCs and/or agreements are linked to

  • sectoral organisations (national trade unions or European Trade Union Federations) who co-ordinate support for and operation of EWCs and/or are involved in signing the agreements;
  • official bodies with which EWC agreements have been registered.
  • additional documents (judgements of the court, reports, articles, news items or press releases, etc.) that include references to the company, EWC or agreement.

Sectors of activity and NACE codes used in the database

The sector abbreviations used in this database have been created in view of classifying companies by the area of interest of the different European Trade Union Federations that co-ordinate EWC activities.

Each company is linked to at least one of the main sectors, whereas EWC bodies and agreements are linked to one or more subsectors as defined in the table below. Therefore the search function offers a larger set of sectors for EWC bodies and agreements.

Each sector corresponds to a number of NACE codes.

Sector abbreviations NACE codes distributed over the sector of activity groups
Metal 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35
Chemicals 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 37
Services 22, 50, 51, 52, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 92, 93
Food, hotel catering 1, 5, 15, 16, 55
Building and wood 2, 20, 36, 40, 41, 45
Textile 17, 18, 19
Transport 60, 61, 62
Public services 75, 80, 85
Other 91, 95, 99

 NACE codes form a common basis for statistical classification of economic activities within the European Union. NACE stands for "Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes". More information can be found on the Eurostat page.

Access to the database

There are three options for obtaining access to the database now:

  • FREE access for NON-REGISTERED users:
    • free consultation of brief data on companies, EWC agreements or other documents.
  • FREE Access for REGISTERED users (the approval procedure takes max. 5 working days):
    • free consultation of brief data on companies, agreements and other documents
    • free download of EWC/SE/SCE agreements.
    • access to agreements content analysis (full text search, selected provisions)
    • personal user dashboard allowing to save search results and queries, earmark agreements, and more;
    • compare the contents of agreements.
    • get assistance with specific statistical requests (exclusively for paid subscribers)

For further information on access please refer to the subscriptions section.

Quoting the database & disclaimer

The ETUI provides free access to data stored in the database on a free basis upon registrations (the approval procedure takes max. 5 working days). We encourage and support the use of the data provided by the ETUI in various forms. However:

  • the ETUI is not responsible for the way third parties make use of the data in question;
  • opinions and information provided by third parties using the ETUI data in question cannot be associated with the ETUI as data provider. Any such statements of third parties do not reflect the views of the ETUI.
  • in providing free access to the ETUI data by third parties we require that in any such use the EWC database of the ETUI be properly quoted according to commonly accepted academic and/or jounralistic standards allowing to easily and unmistakenably identify the ETUI as the source of the data. An example of a reference: The European Works Councils and SE works councils database (year), at, the European Trade Union Institute.

Brief history

In collaboration with some twenty-one research institutes and the European Industry Federations, the ETUI initially created a database that identifies multinational companies that fall within the scope of the EWC Directive. This database was put together for the first time in 1995.

In 1999, the ETUI created another database containing English texts of agreements setting up EWCs.

In 2004 the collection of agreements and the data on multinationals were integrated into a single database and supplemented with a selection of data analysing the contents of the agreements, provided by SDA-Infopoint. The latest published update was issued in 2006 on CD Rom.

In 2005 a selection of the data was put online which enabled EWC members to inform us about changes in the composition of their EWC or to send us copies of renegotiated agreements.

In 2007 the database was made accessible online via and complemented with new features.

In 2008 a decision was taken to integrate content analysis of EWC agreements hitherto performed by the Social Development Agency into the ETUI database of EWCs. Since then both organisations have been cooperating on this common project.

In 2010 new features were added

  • a full text search in the news section allowing for access to information on EWC practice; (please include a hyperlink to the news section);
  • search by thesaurus items linked to agreements, documents and news items (please include a hyperlink to the thesaurus search in news section);
  • exceptional provisions in EWC agreements features list of agreements standing out either in a positive or negative way from the common standards, searchable according to more than 100 criteria (access for recommended trade union members only).
  • content analysis of EWC agreements: following a long period of cooperation between the two separate databases of ETUI and the Social Development Agency (SDA) in 2008 a decision was taken to integrate them into one. This strategic move to merge the entire range of services offered hitherto by ETUI with the content analysis of agreements performed by the SDA has been executed since then. The analysis covers over 100 questions (criteria) to each agreement and has been performed by R. Jagodzinski (ETUI) and Stan De Spiegelaere (ETUI, since 2015), with a help of external researchers M. Monaco (SDA,, 2010) and Arnaud Bouaffre (2014) in cooperation with prof. Jeremy Waddington (University of Manchester / ETUI Associate Researcher).

In 2014-15 the portal underwent a major redevelopment was completed that was oriented towards

  • improving the user interface
  • expanding search possbilities and offering access to new content
  • providing individual workspace (dashboard) for users
  • providing free access (upon registration) to all users.

In 2021-22 the portal underwent another update to the latest web-standards

Thanks to the strong cooperation with the European Trade Union Federations (ETUFs) and thanks to various networks of researchers we have been able to complete the collection of texts and update, in a reliable way, records for a number of EWCs/SEs/SCE works councils and companies. The team working on the EWC project has put a great deal of effort into ensuring quality and accuracy of the EWC database. Nonetheless, as with any database that is covering an evolving subject, the available information will at times be incomplete or outdated. We rely also on our users to inform us about inconsistencies or missing data (please contact us in this regard).

The ETUI will ensure that updated data will occur on the website in the shortest possible time from the moment information becomes available.

We hope you will find the data and texts you require in this database and will be glad to receive any comments, suggestions and corrections regarding both the content and the interface of the database to Irmgard Pas and Marcus Meyer-Erdmann and/or the website to Romuald Jagodziński.

For any further information or comments regarding the contents you can also use the general e-mail:

Marcus Meyer-Erdmann Irmgard Pas  
Senior Researcher, ETUI.
Research department
Database administrator, ETUI.
Research department