Brussels, 16 October 2013
Employment: Commission proposes €6.3 million from Globalisation Fund for former workers of Vestas Group in Denmark
The European Commission has proposed to provide Denmark with €6.3m from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 611 workers made redundant by the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Group. The funds, requested by the Danish authorities, would help to finance a package of measures to assist these workers to find new jobs. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "The 6.3 million euro we have proposed would help these redundant workers to prepare for new job opportunities".
Denmark applied for support from the EGF to help 611 workers made redundant by the Danish Vestas Group. The EGF co-funded measures will be available to all the affected workers, offering them mentoring and coaching, horizontal training in general skills and individualised targeted training packages, help with business start-up, and subsistence and entrepreneurship allowances.
The total estimated cost of the package is €12.7 million, of which the EGF would provide half.
The wind turbine manufacturing industry in the EU has been seriously affected by changes in world trade patterns, leading to a significant reduction of the EU market share. While the demand for wind turbine installations is stagnating in Europe, the global market, especially in Asia, has been rapidly developing. For the first time in 2010, more than half of all new wind power capacities was added outside the traditional markets of Europe and North America. This development was mainly driven by the continuing economic boom in China, which accounted for half of the new global wind installations. Chinese wind turbine manufacturers, which are becoming more competitive in terms of quality and price, not only supply solutions to their own expanding markets, but are also penetrating the European market. Despite the dynamic global growth of the sector, Europe's share in total capacity was reduced from 66% in 2006 to 27,5% in 2012 .
The redundancies affect five municipalities located in the bordering regions of Midtjylland (Ringkøbing-Skjern, Randers, Favrskov, and Aarhus) and Syddanmark (Esbjerg and Varde). There are also a few redundancies in the region of Sjælland and the Capital region - Copenhagen. All the municipalities affected have in common a rapid rise in long-term unemployment, with an average net increase of more than 3 points, and a steep decline in job vacancies, especially in industry and production.
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. Since the start of its operations in 2007, the EGF has received 110 applications. Some €471.2 million has been requested to help more than 100,000 workers. EGF applications are being presented to help in a growing number of sectors, and by an increasing number of Member States.
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 the crisis criterion applied to all applications received from 1 May 2009 to 30 December 2011.
Building on this experience and the value added by the EGF 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. Provisional agreement between the co-legislators on the new regulation has recently been reached.
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