European Works Councils in the Energy sector: 2012

(7 September 2012) This paper examines the European energy companies that have set up European Works Councils (EWCs). It is an update of earlier reports, the last of which was published in 2007. In the first part, it identifies which companies have set up EWCs and shows major changes in employment and employment issues in these companies since 2010. In the second part, the paper examines the strategic issues that will shape the companies and their employment prospects over the next few years. These include:
- Policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Policies on indebtedness and credit rating;
- Divestment and acquisition of assets particularly in Russia;
- Social issues arising from increases in energy costs and from the introduction of ‘smart meters’;
- Implications if elements of the UK’s Electricity Market Reforms are adopted more widely;
- The increase and influence of non-European investors, such as investment funds such as that of China particularly in networks; and
- Changes in ownership of the transmission and distribution networks including the emergence of international network companies and private equity/sovereign wealth funds.

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