EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Social partner and government agency involvement in the restructuring process

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Employment and labour markets,
  • Date of Publication: 22 August 2011

John Morley

Employers are at the heart of the restructuring process since they have to make the ultimate decisions about the location of their businesses. However, they do not operate alone. This study looks at the role of the different actors in each EU member state. It lists the information in a set of interactive tables allowing the reader to choose what information is displayed.

Download the full report in Excel format [183 kb]


Employers have to make the ultimate decisions about the location of their production, distribution or other facilities, based on proximity to markets, production costs, research facilities, and so on. However, they do not, in reality, operate alone. Successful expansions in new areas (or, equally, departures without loss of reputation and goodwill) generally involve significant levels of co-operation with a range of public authorities and specialist agencies (for training, employment placement, social support etc), as well as with workers and their trade unions, at various stages in the process.

Recent developments

Many of the recent actions to address the crisis have been taken by governments alone, but employers and trade unions have also been working together, sometimes with government support. Some of the more significant formal discussions and agreements between governments and social partners are:

  • In Germany, while public authorities are normally not involved, the involvement of Federal as well as State governments has increased since the beginning of the recession. Since Spring 2009 in particular, a number of very large company restructuring cases have involved state subsidies from the German Economy Fund (set up in the context of the 2008/2009 recovery packages).
  • In Greece, the intensity of the crisis led to joint initiatives from the social partners, including the issuing of an Opinion by the Economic and Social Council recommending policies to support employment and address unemployment during the economic crisis.
  • In Latvia, tripartite discussions on the crisis have led to deliberation on public spending priorities, following progress between employer organisations and trade unions with representatives of the government. In the discussions, the social partners defended the interests of education, health care and defence in the process of approving the budget. These outcomes are judged to have mitigated the negative social impact of changes that had been planned.
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