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German Law Journal

[Vol. 11 No. 02

2. Codetermination by Consensus

Nowadays, the concept of codetermination by consensus or Konsensmodell has become particularly popular, as it is already in use on the European level to determine the codetermination standard of the board of a European Company (SE) and a European Cooperative Society (SCE) as well as with regard to border‐crossing mergers within the European Union.178 The main advantage of this concept is that the interest groups within a corporation, i.e., shareholders, employees and the management can bargain for a codetermination model that fits best with regard to size, structure, industry and any other particularities of the given company. In this regard, the consensus model is particularly flexible and can provide solutions for any type of corporation. From a political point of view, another advantage of that concept is that the current codetermination regime could basically remain in place. Changing the current standards of codetermination would just be an option. True, this is the most crucial point of this very concept, because companies are not required to change their codetermination regime. In this regard, establishing a consultation board is more persuasive, as it changes the system fundamentally and, thereby, may prevent most of the weaknesses of the current regime and still ensure firm‐ specific information flow inside the company.

However, due to the current political environment and the remaining strength of German workers unions, it is unlikely that major changes, such as the establishment of a consultation board, will occur in the next few years. Nevertheless, the picture might change, as the existence of the SE and the forthcoming European Private Company (EPC) as well as the competition of legal forms in Europe will put more and more pressure on the current codetermination regime. In particular, UK‐based private companies limited by sharesthat are nowadays very popular in Germany179are not subject to the German

178 See, in particular, Arbeitskreis “Unternehmerische Mitbestimmung” (note 171), 885‐899; see further, Peter Hommelhoff, Mitbestimmungsvereinbarungen im deutschen Recht – de lege ferenda, 30 ZIP 1785‐1787 (2009); Christoph Teichmann, Verhandelte Mitbestimmung für Auslandsgesellschaften, 30 ZIP 1787‐1788 (2009); Martin Kraushaar, Vom Anfang und dem Ende einer Verhandlung über die Unternehmensmitbestimmung aus Sicht der leitenden Angestellten, 30 ZIP 1789‐1791 (2009); Hellwig & Behme (note 176), 1791‐1794; see also AKEIÜ (note 171), 177, 178; Raiser (note 175), B67‐B68; Reichold (note 174), 816‐818, 820; Windbichler (note 140), 195‐196; Fleischer (note 174), 540‐541; Christoph H. Seibt, Privatrechtliche Mitbestimmungsvereinbarungen: Rechtliche Grundlagen und Praxishinweise, 50 AG 413, 428‐429 (2005); Henssler (note 147), 157; for a different view see, Roland Köstler, Das trojanische Pferd der verhandelten Mitbestimmung, 6 AR 137 (2009); against him see, Theodor Baums & Marcus Lutter, Verhandlungen sind kein trojanisches Pferd, 6 AR 153 (2009).

179 Udo Kornblum, Bundesweite Rechtstatsachen zum Unternehmens‐ und Gesellschaftsrecht, Stand 1.1.2009, 100 GMBHR 1056, 1063 (2009); Jan Lieder, Die Haftung der Geschäftsführer und Gesellschafter von EU‐ Auslandsgesellschaften mit tatsächlichem Verwaltungssitz in Deutschland, 15 DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR WIRTSCHAFTSUND INSOLVENZRECHT (DZWIR) 399 (2005); André O. Westhoff, Die Verbreitung der englischen Limited mit Verwaltungssitz in Deutschland, 98 GMBHR 474‐480 (2007).

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