EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

CEC European Managers


CEC European Managers organises and represents managerial staff in Europe. It is an independent social partner whose member organisations specifically promote and defend the interests of executives and managers. It participates in European social dialogue as one of three cross-industry organisations representing these categories of worker. Its headquarters are in Brussels.

Background and status

CEC European Managers is made up of 8 European sectoral federations and 16 national organisations, representing around 1 million managers in 11 Member States and 5 European countries. The organisation has four officers (President, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and Treasurer) and three statutory bodies: the General Assembly meets every year, sets the general policy guidelines and controls the activities of the other bodies; the Administration Council is CEC European Managers’ executive body and performs all actions necessary to run it; and the Executive Committee represents the organisation and acts under the supervision of the Administration Council. A change in its statutes is under way to make the organisation more flexible: in 2021, the names of the various internal bodies of CEC European Managers will change, while its social partner status will remain the same.

Historical development

In 1951, the French, German and Italian confederations of managers and executives founded the International Confederation of Managers. Seeking more active participation in European social dialogue, this body developed into a European organisation, the European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff (known as CEC after its French name, Confédération européenne des cadres), which was founded in 1989. CEC brought together a number of organisations – some of which were associations rather than trade unions – representing managerial staff in various European countries.

Participation in social dialogue

In December 1993, after several years of intense lobbying, CEC was included in the list of organisations to be consulted by the European Commission as part of European social dialogue.

In 1998, the European Commission recognised CEC as one of the social partners that represents ‘certain categories of workers or undertakings’ at a cross-industry level. As a result, the Commission is required to seek CEC’s opinion and offer CEC the chance to enter into negotiations with employers on social policy and industrial relations issues as set down in Articles 154 and 155 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which govern European social dialogue.

Representative status

In 1999, CEC and Eurocadres – the umbrella organisation representing managerial staff in member organisations affiliated with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – signed a memorandum of understanding and set up a committee to liaise between the two organisations. As a result, CEC was able to participate in European cross-industry social dialogue.

Since then, CEC European Managers (together with ETUC and Eurocadres) has been one of the three cross-industry confederations representing employees entitled to take part in European social dialogue under Articles 154 and 155 of the TFEU.

According to the 2014 Eurofound report Representativeness of the social partners in the European cross-industry social dialogue, CEC and Eurocadres ‘are relevant social partner organisations for managerial and professional staff with national affiliated members that have a clear role in cross-industry bargaining and consultations’. [1]

Related dictionary terms

Collective organisation of the social partners employee representation EU system of industrial relations European collective agreements European social dialogue European social partners representativeness tripartite concertation


  1. ^ Eurofound (2014), Representativeness of the social partners in the European cross-industry social dialogue, Dublin.

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