Brussels, 4 September 2012
Employment: EU Globalisation Fund supported over 21000 workers in 2011
More than 21 000 workers dismissed due to the economic crisis and the effects of globalisation were helped to find new job opportunities by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in 2011, according to a report adopted today by the European Commission. The EU's Globalisation Fund paid out a total of €128 million in 2011 to assist these workers in twelve Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Portugal).
László Andor, EU Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "The European Globalisation Fund has proved to be an efficient and effective tool for people who have lost their job. It is a concrete expression of European solidarity and a practical instrument helping people and regions recover from large-scale layoffs. In particular, the EGF allows Member States to support targeted measures adapted to the circumstances of the workers in question. Since its launch in 2007, a total of some 91 000 redundant workers have already benefited from or are about to receive EGF assistance for training, job search and other forms of support. The EGF will continue to play a crucial role in fighting unemployment."
The fifth annual report on the activities and results of the EGF shows a 50% increase in 2011 of EGF contributions paid out to Member States compared to 2010. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union took 22 decisions in 2011 to deploy EGF funding. The Czech Republic and Greece received support from the EGF for the first time in 2011.
The support was granted to co-finance active labour market policy measures proposed and organised for the workers by the twelve 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 support and public employment schemes.
The report also describes the outcome of four EGF contributions granted in previous years to three Member States (Belgium, Sweden and Ireland) in terms of how EGF support helped the redundant workers find new jobs. The results are encouraging as 2 352 workers (45% of the total 5 228 receiving support from the EGF) who had been laid off by employers in the car, textile and computer industries had found new jobs or had become self-employed by the end of the EGF support period (mid-2011).
The good results in terms of re-integration into employment suggest that a longer support period and higher EU co-financing (as a result of the amendment of the EGF Regulation in 2009) is beneficial for both the workers and the local and regional labour markets.
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.
There have been 101 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in 2007: 20 Member States requested some €440.5 million to help about 91 000 workers made redundant. Since the amendment of the EGF Regulation in 20091, EGF applications have been presented by an increasing number of Member States and in an increasing number of sectors. See also Annex of MEMO/12/639.
Regarding the 19 cases for which final results are now available and which have been fully analysed and wound up by the Commission, Member States have reported that the personal situation, self-confidence and employability of the workers concerned had clearly improved thanks to the EGF assistance and the services provided, even though they did not always find new work immediately.
In particular, the EGF gave Member States the opportunity to act more intensively 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 enabled countries to respond more flexibly to the current employment challenges, to devote more attention to lower skilled people and to harder-to-help job seekers, and to include innovative actions in the support provided.
As part of its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020, 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. It has also proposed to broaden its scope to additional categories such as self-employed and temporary workers. The Commission proposal would allow the EGF to also react to large-scale redundancies caused by unforeseen crises as well as to negative effects of trade agreements on the agricultural sector through transitory support to farmers to facilitate their adaptation.
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Threshold reduced from 1 000 to 500 redundancies, implementation period increased from 12 to 24 months from the date of application, and the temporary eligibility of crisis-related redundancies (1.5.2009 to 30.12.2011) with an increased EGF co-funding rate of 65% instead of 50% (during the same period).