"A European Commission consultation document has highlighted the fact that transnational company agreements (TCAs) began to be concluded in significant numbers from 2000. By the start of 2012, about 144 companies had concluded at least one European Framework Agreement (EFA) or International Framework Agreement (IFA), covering a total of 10 million employees. In 2008, the Commission published a staff working document on the role of TCAs, suggesting the creation of a voluntary European framework developing clear rules for such issues as negotiation procedures and legal certainty. A group of experts came together to examine this issue further. The group had met six times by 2011, and produced a report that was published at the beginning of 2012. In addition, a conference on restructuring was organised in Lyon in 2008 under the French Council Presidency, and two studies were produced. The first study clarified to what extent TCAs were governed by rules of private international law and how such rules would apply to these agreements. The second study focused on the legal implications of these agreements. The Commission also set up in 2011 a database on transnational company agreements. In its communication Towards a job-rich recovery, published in April 2012, the Commission said it intended to ‘develop further action to disseminate good practice and promote debate with respect to TCAs’, stressing its view that their role needed to be better recognised and supported."