(The abstracted paper is also published in English: Ibid. 2004, Nr 1s(33), pp. 83-96). The pressure of global competition facing European companies and demand for flexibility in its broad sense also force worker participation to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. The new European participatory model is based on a real involvement of employees in achieving company targets, endowing them with greater freedom of action and greater responsibility, and tightening the partner-based relations between worker and management. This paper is intended to define the main factors that influence the development and present importance of various forms of participation as well as the presentation of changes in this area that occurred in the nineteen-nineties (on the basis of the results of the 'Employee Direct Participation in Organization Change' study conducted in 1996 as commissioned by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Life and Working Conditions).