European Commission - Press release
EU Globalisation Fund support for workers increases three-fold in 2010 to over € 83 million
Brussels, 22 August 2011 – Nearly 23 700 workers dismissed due to economic crisis and major structural changes in world trade patterns were helped by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) last year, according to a report adopted today by the European Commission – more than double the number of workers helped by the Fund in 2009. The €83.5 million paid out by the EU's Globalisation Fund to nine Member States are intended to help the national authorities as they support dismissed workers in finding new job opportunities.
László Andor, EU Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said on the publication of the annual report: "Since its launch in 2007, the European Globalisation Fund as an instrument to express EU solidarity has been stepping in to support those who have lost their jobs. The Fund has covered training and job search assistance for thousands of European workers and it will continue to play a crucial role in fighting unemployment or preventing it." He added: "The EGF reflects the need to focus on the challenges of this decade, while preserving strong investment in areas like training, innovation and European infrastructure."
The fourth annual report on the activities and results of the EGF shows a three-fold increase in 2010 of EGF contributions paid out to Member States. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, as the EU's budgetary authority, took 31 decisions in 2010 to deploy the EGF funding: 13 of these were in response to applications made in 2010 and 18 concerned applications from the second half of 2009. This steep rise reflects the sudden impact of the global financial and economic crisis leading to a dramatic increase in applications in 2009. Three times as many cases were approved in 2010 compared with 2009, and a 60 % increase in terms of EGF co-financing was paid out to Member States.
The EGF contributions targeted 23 688 workers dismissed in nine Member States (Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain), with a total of € 83 554 141 from the Fund. The support was granted to co-finance active labour market policy measures proposed and organised for the workers by the Member States, over a 24-month period following the date of application. The EGF co-financed 65% of the measures, with national sources providing the remaining 35%. The concrete measures for the job-seekers included intensive, personalised job-search assistance, various types of vocational training, up-skilling and retraining measures, temporary incentives and allowances for the duration of the active measures, and other types of support such as business creation and public employment schemes.
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.
As part of its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework beyond 2013, the Commission has proposed that the EU should continue to express solidarity with redundant workers and the affected regions through the EGF also in the future.
The Commission received a total of 31 applications for EGF support in 2010 - one more than in 2009. These were submitted by 12 Member States for a total of € 169 994 542 in EGF support to target 31 995 redundant workers in 16 sectors. Three Member States applied for the first time in 2010: the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia.
There have been 78 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in January 2007, for a total amount of about €355 million, helping nearly 76,000 workers. EGF applications are being presented in a growing number of sectors, and by an increasing number of Member States.
The 2010 annual report also describes the outcomes of four EGF contributions granted in previous years to three Member States (Spain, Portugal and Germany) and the way the EGF support helped the redundant workers find new jobs. It shows that 629 workers laid off by employers in the car, textile and mobile phone industries had found new jobs or become self-employed by the end of the 12-month EGF support period (20% of the 3 146 receiving support). As a direct consequence of the crisis, the results for the workers' reintegration into employment were seriously affected by the difficulties facing local and regional labour markets in terms of job opportunities and vacancies.
On the positive side, the three Member States reported a series of interesting facts indicating that the personal situation, self-confidence and employability of the workers concerned had clearly improved thanks to the EGF assistance and services, even though they did not always find new work rapidly. The EGF gave Member States the opportunity to act more effectively in the regions affected by redundancies - in terms of the number of people assisted and the duration, type and quality of support - than would have been possible without EGF funding.
The EU funds also allowed countries to respond more flexibly and to include personalised and innovative actions in their measures as well as devoting more attention to the least skilled. The assistance co-funded by the EGF therefore represents an enhanced investment in skills, which has already been shown to have a positive impact on the re-employment rates of the workers helped, also in the medium and longer term following the end of the EGF measures.
In addition, the EGF is reported to have been a useful instrument at a time of budget deficits and public sector cuts, as national resources have become scarce and Member States are struggling to recover from the global crisis. These reports make it clear once again that the EGF provides valuable help to the redundant workers and shows EU solidarity in the face of change.
See also MEMO/11/561
The EGF 2010 report can be found at:
EGF website: http://ec.europa.eu/egf
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