Corporate participation

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Corporate codetermination describes the influence of employees on economic or entrepreneurial decisions. On the other hand, there is co-determination in the company , which enables employees to influence social or personal decisions via the works council or the like.


Corporate codetermination is mainly exercised through the composition of the supervisory board , which controls the management board . The number of respective members and the quantitative ratio between employees and shareholders depend on the relevant law, which is based on the number of employees in the company. Depending then apply DrittelbG ( corporations with more than 500 employees), the Co-Determination Act of 1976 (with more than 2000 employees) or the Montan co-determination law (more than 1,000 employees in mining companies).

In 2005, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder set up a commission for the modernization of German corporate co-determination (co-determination commission) chaired by Kurt Biedenkopf . The task of the commission was to submit proposals for a modern and Europe-compatible further development of German corporate co-determination based on the applicable law. Since the commission could not find a consensus on its recommendations, the final report was published in December 2006 by the scientific members with the dissenting statements of the employer and employee representatives.

For internationally active companies, it is now disputed whether the Codetermination Act can still apply because of the possible priority of Articles 18 and 45 TFEU. The question is currently before the ECJ (Az. C-566/15 - "TUI AG").

Other countries

There is no equal co-determination as provided for in the Co-Determination Act of 1976 in any other EU country. Austria, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Scandinavian countries require minority representation of employees in joint-stock companies above a certain size. In the Netherlands, the works council can make proposals for the appointment of supervisory board members. In China, employee representatives make up at least a third of the supervisory board and some are also represented on the executive board. In Italy, Spain, the US, France and the UK, workers have no participation rights.


  • Felix Hörisch: Corporate Codetermination in National and International Comparison - Development and Economic Effects . Berlin / Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-643-10296-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Streeck, Martin Höpner (2007): Reform of corporate co-determination. In: MPIfG yearbook 2007/08. Cologne: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, pp. 25-30 (PDF; 254 kB)
  2. Final report (PDF; 468 kB) ( Memento of the original from April 30, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Raiser / Veil, Aktiengesellschaftsrecht, 6th edition 2015, p. 30 marginal no. 11