WINS National Event SLOVENIA

WINS National Event SLOVENIA

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 – form 10:00 to 12:00 CEST

Perspectives on economic democracy, Employee ownership, and worker’s buyouts in Southeast Europe (SEE)

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Already from the start of the European integration, there has been a sound commitment to provide the employees with the right to be involved in decision-making. The process has led to the adoption of a number of European directives supplementing and enhancing employee involvement on a national level too. 

Also, there is a growing social, business, and political interest for an upgrade to the employer/employee relationship and establishing an institutional environment suitable for the growth of the employee ownership sector, both at the European and national levels. The next step in this process is worker/employee ownership in private companies.

The national event focuses on perspectives of employee ownership and workers’ buyouts in South-East Europe (SEE) with the presentation of two successful pilot employee buyout projects based on the European COOP-ESOP model, which are being implemented in Slovenia.

The European Co-Operative Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or European ESOP model is a democratic version of the US ESOP, which is the most successful transition mechanism to employee ownership currently existing. Research shows that ESOP companies decrease economic inequality, lead to more sustainable business practices, are socially responsible, and on average outperform non-ESOP companies in terms of productivity, crisis resilience, and employee retention. The main use of the European ESOP is to address the ownership succession problem in the SME sector, which has been for years on the list of SME challenges by the European Commission.

The second model currently being established in Slovenia is the European Marcora which builds on the good practice of Italy (Marcora framework) and Spain (Pago Unico law). The European Marcora helps collectives of workers that are at risk of losing jobs due to insolvency or production cost optimization. The model provides financial liquidity to companies by allowing workers to receive the anticipated unemployment benefits in lump-sum and access other institutional financial mechanisms, while at the same time receiving strong technical expertise and entrepreneurial mentorship that ensures the sustainable restructuring of the business model. The experience from Italy and Spain shows that enterprises that convert into employee ownership through Marcora and Pago mechanism are highly competitive and more resilient businesses.

Employee ownership complements workers’ rights to information, consultation, and participation in enhancing economic democracy in the EU and the SEE.

This national event is giving the floor to the practical ways of promoting these models with a clear focus on SEE.

The working language is English.


10:00-10:20 Opening of the event

Miro Mihec, board member, ASES (Slovenia)
Melinda Kelemen, DIESIS Network, WINS (Hungary)(TBC)  

Keynote presentation: Workers buyouts and generic ESOP model
David P. Ellerman, President of the Institute for Economic Democracy  (Slovenia) (TBC)      
10:20 – 11:40Opportunities of economic democracy and worker’s buyouts in SEE    

Milan Medić, LEADER Network Croatia (Croatia)  
Aleksandra Lakić, Program Coordinator, “Zajedničko” Platform (Serbia)  
Aleksandra Loparska-Iloska, policy researcher, “PUBLIC” (North Macedonia)
  Božina Stešević, Programs developer, ZID (Montenegro)  
Tej Gonza, Director, IED (Slovenia)

With participation of Partners Albania

Moderator: Sebastjan Pikl  
11:40 – 12:00Discussion and conclusions


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