Conclusion: Towards a Transnational Industrial Relations Institution
The EWC is an institution in process along several dimensions. Within EWCs there is some evidence to suggest that representatives are developing trust, a prerequisite to meaningful interaction and engagement with management, and a European identity that transcends a national interest. The content of EWC agreements and EWC practices illustrate development over time, as representatives have gained experience of the institution and have attempted to shape it to meet their objectives. In addition, a few EWCs have extended the information and consultation brief to embrace negotiation. Similarly, the EWC is also an institution in process by reference to its embeddedness with other industrial relations institutions. Compared to the formative period 1994 to 1996 when Article 13 was in effect, for example, the EIFs have established structures and processes within which matters arising from EWC activities are handled. Furthermore, some EWCs are engaged in transnational activities that extend beyond the geographical boundaries of the states that are signatory to the Directive. This is to argue that most EWCs remain at a formative point in their development, that the processes identifi ed here are likely to become more widespread and sophisticated over time, and that processes not yet developed are likely to be implemented in the future.