Brussels, 19 October 2012
Employment: Commission proposes €1.3 million from Globalisation Fund for redundant metal products workers in Spain
The European Commission has proposed to provide Spain with €1.3m from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 500 redundant workers of the metal products sector in País Vasco (Spain) back into employment. The funds requested by the Spanish authorities would help former workers from 423 small and medium sized enterprises. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and to the EU's Council of Ministers for approval.
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "The €1.3 million we have proposed to help these redundant workers in País Vasco demonstrate EU solidarity towards some of those who have suffered the most from the economic crisis by losing their jobs. The range of concrete measures foreseen stand to help the redundant workers to find a new job.".
The Spanish application relates to 1 106 redundancies from 423 manufacturers of metal fabricated products which are located in País Vasco, in northern Spain. Of the total 1 106 redundant workers, 500 are targeted for assistance from the EGF to help them to find jobs as quickly as possible. The package of measures will consist in particular in profiling, occupational guidance and guidance towards business creation or self-employment; various types of training and retraining; accompanying measures such as job-search assistance, as well as job-search allowance and other incentives. The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €2 million, to which the EGF would provide €1.3 million.
The metal products sector is a major supplier for a wide range of manufacturing activities, in particular the shipbuilding, construction and automotive sectors. All these activities were significantly impacted across the EU by the economic crisis, as demonstrated in previous applications for EGF support. This was even more acute in Spain, which is among the Member States most seriously affected by the global financial and economic crisis, and the situation of manufacturing continues to deteriorate.
As a result of the crisis, the demand for, and production of, metal and metal products decreased by 24.6% and 23.3% respectively in Spain in 2009, compared with 2008. While these manufacturing activities started to recover during the first quarter of 2011, the production of both sectors declined significantly again in the second half of the year. This in turn had a severe impact on employment in Spain, with more than 180 000 jobs lost in the metal sector in 2009 and a further 60 000 jobs in 2010 (about 15 % of total employment of the sector).
There have been 102 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in 2007. Some €438.4 million has been requested to help about 91,000 workers. EGF applications are being presented to help redundant workers in a growing number of sectors, and by an increasing number of Member States.
More open trade with the rest of the world leads to overall benefits for growth and employment, but it can also cost some jobs, particularly in vulnerable sectors and affecting lower-skilled workers. This is why Commission President Barroso first proposed setting up a fund to help those adjusting to the consequences of globalisation. The EGF was established at the end of 2006 and was designed to demonstrate solidarity from the many who benefit from openness to the few who face the sudden shock of losing their jobs. In June 2009, the EGF rules were revised to strengthen the role of the EGF as an early intervention instrument forming part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis. The revised EGF Regulation entered into force on 2 July 2009 and applied to all applications received from 1 May 2009 to 30 December 2011.
Building on the experience acquired with the EGF since 2007 and its value added for the assisted workers and affected regions, the Commission has proposed to maintain the Fund also during the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework, while further improving its functioning.
László Andor's website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/andor/
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