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2010]

The German Supervisory Board on Its Way to Professionalism

153

all codetermined companies fill only one‐third of the supervisory board seats.174 Others call for a ban of union members in supervisory boards175 or for giving the voting right as to labor representatives not only to domestic employees, but also to the employees of foreign factories of the given enterprise176.

1. Consultation Board

The Berlin Network of Corporate Governance proposed in December 2003 the concept of a consultation board or Konsultationsrat.177 That model, which could also be referred to as labor board or Arbeitnehmerrat, may prevent most of the discussed disadvantages of German codetermination and may still ensure that firm‐specific information flow either way, i.e., from the workforce to the supervisory board and from the supervisory board to the employees. The consultation board is not designed to replace the supervisory board or to be a committee of the supervisory board filled with labor representatives. It is rather to be seen as an independent third board besides the management board and the supervisory board. The main task of the consultation board would be to inform the executives and the supervisory board in the forefront of any important decision, especially if employees’ interests are at stake. However, in order to avoid the above‐mentioned negative effects of the current codetermination regime, the consultation board would not actively participate in the actual decision‐making process of the company. The power to decide on major corporate issues on a day‐to‐day basis would vest solely in the executive board, monitored and supported by the supervisory board not consisting of any employee representatives.

174 AKEIÜ (note 171), 178; Michael Adams, Das Ende der Mitbestimmung, 27 ZIP 1561, 1567 (2006); Christoph H. Seibt, Drittelbeteiligungsgesetz und Fortsetzung der Reform des Unternehmensmitbestimmungsrechts, 21 NEUE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR ARBEITSRECHT (NZA) 767, 775 (2004); Hermann Reichold, Unternehmensmitbestimmung vor dem Hintergrund europäischer Entwicklungen, 61 JURISTEN‐ZEITUNG (JZ) 812, 818, 820 (2006); Holger Fleischer, Der Einfluß der Societas Europaea auf die Dogmatik des deutschen Gesellschaftsrechts, 204 ACP 502, 541‐542 (2004); Henssler (note 147), 157; Peltzer (note 106), 1047.

175 See, e.g., AKEIÜ (note 171), 178‐179; Reichold (note 174), 819; see further, Thomas Raiser, Unternehmensmitbestimmung vor dem Hintergrund europarechtlicher Entwicklungen, in VERHANDLUNGEN DES 66. DEUTSCHEN JURISTENTAGES, Vol. 1, B95‐B101 (Ständige Deputation des Deutschen Juristentages ed., 2006).

176 AKEIÜ (note 171), 179; Fleischer (note 174), 542‐543; Peter Ulmer, Paritätische Arbeitnehmermitbestimmung im Aufsichtsrat von Großunternehmen – noch zeitgemäß?, 166 ZHR 271, 274 (2002); see also, Arbeitskreis “Unternehmerische Mitbestimmung” (note 171), 887, 894‐895; Hans‐Jürgen Hellwig & Casper Behme, Zur Einbeziehung ausländischer Belegschaften in die deutsche Unternehmensmitbestimmung, 30 ZIP 1791‐1794 (2009).

177 Berlin Network of Corporate Governance (note 171), 200‐201; see also, Christian Kirchner, Grundstrukturen eines neuen institutionellen Designs für die Arbeitnehmermitbestimmung auf der Unternehmensebene, 49 AG 197, 198‐200 (2004); v. Werder (note 142), 172; Franz Jürgen Säcker, Rechtliche Anforderungen an die Qualifikation und Unabhängigkeit von Aufsichtsratsmitgliedern, 49 AG 180, 185‐186 (2004).

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