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IP/08/1985

Brussels, 16 December 2008

Improved Globalisation Fund will help more European workers who lose their jobs

The European Commission today moved to help people made redundant as a result of the economic crisis by improving the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF). The proposal to revise the EGF aims to bring its operations closer into line with its objective of solidarity towards workers who have lost their jobs – in particular in these times of economic crisis. The new proposals will make the EGF a more effective crisis response instrument, helping more people to find their way back into the labour market.

"The Globalisation Fund has already helped more than 15,000 redundant workers in the 2 years since it has been launched. Our objective now is to strengthen its role as an early intervention instrument as part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis. We want to ensure the EGF can be used when people lose their jobs as a result of the crisis, and we want to help more redundant workers to find new jobs as quickly as possible," said Vladimír Špidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

In its European Economic Recovery Plan of 26 November 2008 (IP/08/1771), the Commission announced its intention to revise the EGF to extend its scope as part of the Europe's crisis response package and to make it a more effective intervention instrument, in line with the fundamental principles of solidarity and social justice.

To achieve the objective of showing solidarity towards workers who lose their jobs, the proposal makes changes to the existing EGF regulation (1927/2006) which should allow it to help a larger number of redundant workers back into the labour market.

The changes should enhance the performance of the Fund by:

  • lowering the eligibility threshold for EGF applications from 1000 to 500 redundant workers;
  • extending to 24 months the duration of EGF support (currently 12 months) so as to allow sufficient time for the measures to be effective in re-integrating particularly the most vulnerable workers into new jobs.
  • increasing the EU financial contribution from 50% to 75% to better reflect the emergency nature of the contribution (the other portion being paid by Member States);
  • temporarily broadening the scope of eligibility for assistance under the EGF to encompass workers adversely affected by the economic and financial crisis, and not only those (as is the case at present) who lose their jobs as a result of changes in world trade patterns

Background

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is a response to a specific, European-scale crisis caused by globalisation. The Fund is an expression of EU solidarity with European workers left vulnerable because of the impact of globalisation. It provides one-off, time-limited individual support, geared directly to the redundant workers.

Its objective is to reintegrate workers into the labour market, when they had been made redundant due to globalisation. It has at its disposal a potential maximum of EUR 500 million per year, an amount which may be reviewed in the light of the implementation of the revised Regulation.

The EGF contributes directly to the creation of a more dynamic and competitive European economy by improving the skills and employability of redundant workers, and facilitating the general up-skilling of the European labour force, leading towards better quality and higher value-added work.

Related links:

Commission proposal

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=432&furtherNews=yes

Annual report on the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF) 2 July 2008:

MEMO/08/464

European Globalisation Fund website

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/egf/index_en.html

Video News Release: Facing up to a globalised world – The European Globalisation Fund

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/video_prod_en.cfm?type=detail&prodid=4096&src=4


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