[Journal:] Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung – Journal for Labour Market Research [ISSN:] 2510-5027 [Volume:] 38 [Year:] 2005 [Issue:] 2/3 [Pages:] 268-283
In particular due to decisions made by the European Court of Justice, but also as a consequence of a serious malfunctioning, the German model of codetermination has once again become the subject of controversial debate. The costs of codetermination are considerable. These face returns that are exceptionally difficult to quantify. The available empirical studies, however, provide hardly any evidence of the efficiency gains being particularly high. The conclusions drawn about codetermination are thus rather negative. A reorientation is therefore necessary. Freedom of contract, transparency and cost reduction take priority in this respect. In the case of codetermination in limited companies and public limited companies, the annual general meeting should decide whether and in what form the employees have a say in the election of the supervisory board. The existence of a works council should in principle be forceable, and the rights of the works council have to be agreed upon by the contractual parties at plant level. Otherwise a legal rescue solution in the form of a clearly reduced Law on Labour Relations at the Workplace (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz) will get a chance. The employees pay (in part) the costs of the works council. The criticism that voluntary codetermination would not materialise at all comes to nothing because codetermination has been in existence for a long time in Germany and it has therefore been possible to gather experience - both good and bad.