2012 Reply to consultation on Transnational Company Agreements

Ceemet replied to the Commission staff working document and consultation on “Transnational company agreements: realising the potential of social dialogue”. An exchange of experience among companies with Transnational Company Agreements (TCA) could be useful to support those companies who are interested in these agreements in addition to Commission support in maintaining the existing database, which is a good tool.

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Ceemet key messages

  • Ceemet acknowledges that transnational company agreements and texts are signed by companies particularly in our industries and that these agreements/texts are used to address a multitude of issues that individual companies face. The companies that have signed these agreements/texts have largely had a positive experience doing so.
  • Transnational company agreements are purely voluntary initiatives and there is no common understanding of a transnational company agreement. This lack of a common understanding is not an unintended consequence. The agreements that have been signed in Europe differ significantly from each other in terms of form and contents as they are adapted to each company’s specific situation and needs. The adaptability a transnational company agreement offers is regarded as a major advantage. At no point has it been found that companies are struggling in the absence of an EU level instrument. This was also apparent from the two year discussions in the Commission’s expert group on transnational company agreements, where Ceemet was represented.
  • The Commission staff working document outlines perceived problems with transnational company agreements and suggests how these problems could be solved by European-level actions. However, so far, there is little evidence to suggest that there have been any problems surrounding these agreements in our sector, one of the main sectors signing transnational company agreements.
  • There is no evidence to justify the European Commission taking a policy-related interest on transnational company agreements. The number of European multinationals in Europe who have signed any type of transnational company agreement is very low compared with those who have not. In addition, many transnational company agreements are international in scope and not onl y European. Therefore, we consider that transnational company agreements are not an issue for an EU-wide initiative.

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