The EFJ has set up an European Works Council Expert Group in 1998 in order to closely monitor the revision of the European Works Council Directive and in order to monitor and support the establishment of European Works Councils in the media sector.
The EFJ has been extremely concerned by Article 8 (Confidential information), Point 3 on 'Each member states may lay down particular provisions for the central management of undertakings in its territory which pursue directly and essentially the aim of ideological guidance with respect to information and the expression of opinions, on condition that, at the date of adoption of this directive such particular provisions already exist in national legislation.' This so-called Tendenzschutz still exist in Germany and to some extent in Austria. The EFJ led a strong campaign in 1994 to get rid of this article, which has been introduced by the employers (EFJ Campaign on the Tendenzschutz). Supported by the ETUC, the EFJ attempts to get rid of this clause.
The European Works Council Expert Group with members from Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and Great Britain met in Brussels on March 4, 2000.
The meeting discussed the revision of the European Works Council Directive from September 1994 and agreed on a number of amendments to be added to the ETUC Paper on the revision of the directive. The ETUC asked the EFJ to forward the proposals to be included in the ETUC paper.
The meeting agreed to organise with the support of the European Commission a seminar on the functioning of European Works Councils in the Media Sector. It further agreed to analyse existing agreements in the media sector and get in contact with the chairs of the European Works Councils.
So far in the media sector there are known agreements at Bertelsmann, Burda, CLT, Gruhner&Jahr, The Pearson Group, Reed/Elsevier and Reuters.