The article considers the various steps taken by the European Union for the development of mechanisms that enable employee representatives to take part in decision-making processes within their organisations. A series of legislative measures have been introduced since the 1970s concerning information, consultation and participation both at European and national level. These measures increasingly aim at embracing employee participation as part of the strategic planning of the business. Despite their limitations, they can play a considerable role in promoting democratic involvement among management and labour. © 2010 ERA.