Brussels, 13 September 2012
Employment: Commission proposes €5.3 million from Globalisation Fund for former workers of Manroland A.G. in Germany
The European Commission has today proposed to provide Germany with €5.3m from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 2,103 former workers of printing machinery manufacturer of Manroland AG and of three of its subsidiaries and suppliers. The money would help to finance a package of measures to help these workers to find new jobs. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for their approval.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "The proposal for 5.3 million euro from the European Globalisation Fund would help over two thousand workers made redundant by Manroland and its subsidiaries and suppliers to prepare for new job opportunities in more promising sectors."
Germany applied for support from the EGF for 2,284 workers made redundant by Manroland AG and three of its subsidiaries and suppliers. Of the total, 2,103 would be eligible to participate in the measures. The package aims to help the workers by offering them training courses leading to qualifications, in-depth advice on starting up their own businesses, job search services, as well as coaching and advisory services during unemployment and in a new job. The package will also include a job-search allowance ('Transferkurzarbeitergeld') and an activation premium to help redundant workers to accept a lower paid job.
The territories concerned by the redundancies are three rather different regions of Germany: Augsburg (Bavaria), Offenbach (Hessen) and Plauen (Saxony). Plauen, located in the eastern part of Germany, has a smaller population but a higher dependency on social welfare payments.
The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €10.7 million, of which the EGF would provide almost half, i.e. €5.3 million and the Member state would provide the other half.
Manroland AG is a printing machinery manufacturer that produces sheet-fed offset presses as well as reel-fed offset printing machinery. The printing machinery equipment market is highly internationalised. Manroland AG, together with its German and other European competitors, already operated on a world-wide basis. During recent years, emerging markets such as China, India and South American countries, e.g. Brazil, increased their demand for printing machinery and therefore became important customers for German and other European printing machinery manufacturers. However, these countries have also become important players in their own right as manufacturers on an increasingly global market. Producers in China, India, South America, as well as a growing number of competitors from the US and Japan, have all achieved rising market shares during the past decade. As a result, German high-quality producers now face stiffer international competition.
Manroland AG lost 10 % of its market share for reel-fed offset printing equipment during the period from 2005 to 2011. This lower market share contributed to sinking and negative profits and in the end to redundancies.
There have been 101 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in 2007. Some €442.2 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.
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Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)
Nadège Defrère (+32 2 296 45 44)