Brussels, 02 September 2010
€2.8m EU globalisation fund set to help 1,429 Spanish car workers in Spain
The European Commission has today approved an application from Spain for assistance under the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF). The application will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council for decision. The € 2,752,935 requested by the Spanish authorities will help 1,429 redundant workers back into employment. The application was submitted after 2,330 employees were made redundant bye 23 enterprises operating in the automotive sector in Catalonia, in the north-east of Spain.
"The car industry has suffered enormously because of the financial and economic crisis", said László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. He added: "We welcome the Spanish application for EGF funding and I am confident that the planned measures funded through the EGF will help these workers find a new job quickly".
The Spanish application relates to 2,330 redundancies in 23 enterprises operating in the automotive sector. The dismissals were a consequence of the serious impact that the global financial and economic crisis has had on demand for vehicles in Spain and in its export markets. In 2008 new car registrations in Spain declined by 28 % compared with the previous year, mainly due to tight credit conditions, low consumer confidence and declining purchasing power. Moreover, the global nature of the crisis also led to a sales drop of 9.6 % for vehicles manufactured in Spain and sold outside the country.
All the redundancies covered by this application occurred in autonomous region of Catalonia. The number of dismissals compared with the previous year, had increased by 42 % in 2008 and by 157 % in 2009 in the Catalonian automotive sector.
Of the 2,330 workers made redundant, the 1,429 workers with the biggest difficulties for their re-integration into the labour market are targeted for assistance from the EGF. The package will help the targeted workers by offering them guidance, preparation of personal pathways, training and on-the-job training, workshops on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship assistance, peer support and incentives for the rapid re-integration into the labour market. The total estimated cost of the package of EGF is approximately €4.2 million, of which the European Globalisation adjustment Fund will pay €2.7 million.
There have been 66 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in January 2007, for a total amount of about €373.6 million, helping more than 70,000 workers. EGF applications relate to the following sectors: automotive (France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Sweden); textiles (Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Belgium); mobile phones (Finland and Germany); domestic appliances (Italy); computers and electronic products (Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands); mechanical/electronic (Denmark); repair and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft (Ireland); crystal glass (Ireland); ceramics and natural stone (Spain); construction (Netherlands, Ireland and Lithuania); carpentry and joinery (Spain); electrical equipment (Lithuania) publishing and printing industry (Netherlands and Germany), furniture (Lithuania), retail trade (Czech Republic and Spain) and wholesale trade (Netherlands). Final reports from the earlier cases supported by the EGF show strong results in helping workers stay in the labour market and find new jobs..
The EGF, an initiative first proposed by President Barroso to provide help for people who lose their jobs due to the impact of globalisation, was established by the European Parliament and the Council at the end of 2006. In June 2009, the EGF rules were revised to strengthen the role of the EGF as an early intervention instrument. It forms part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis. The revised EGF Regulation entered into force on 2 July 2009 and applies to all applications received from 1 May 2009 onwards.
EGF website : http://ec.europa.eu/egf
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