Procedure : 2018/2240(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0377/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0377/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 29/11/2018 - 8.6

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0471

REPORT     
PDF 418kWORD 72k
22.11.2018
PE 629.510v02-00 A8-0377/2018

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application from Greece – EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing)

(COM(2018)0667 – C8‑0430/2018 – 2018/2240(BUD))

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteur: Eider Gardiazabal Rubial

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application from Greece – EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing)

(COM(2018)0667 – C8‑0430/2018 – 2018/2240(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0667 – C8‑0430/2018),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(1) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3) (IIA of 2 December 2013), and in particular point 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 13 of the IIA of 2 December 2013,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0377/2018),

A.  whereas the Union has set up legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns or of the global financial and economic crisis, and to assist their reintegration into the labour market;

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible;

C.  whereas Greece submitted application EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing for a financial contribution from the EGF following 550 redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 (Publishing activities) in the NUTS level 2 region of Attica (EL30) in Greece;

D.  whereas the application is based on the intervention criteria of point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation, which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant over a reference period of nine months in enterprises operating in the same economic sector defined at NACE Revision 2 division level and located in one region or two contiguous regions, or in more than two contiguous regions defined at NUTS 2 level provided that there are more than 500 workers affected in two of the regions combined in a Member State;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation are met and that Greece is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 2 308 500 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 3 847 500;

2.  Notes that the Greek authorities submitted the application on 22 May 2018, and that, following the provision of additional information by Greece, the Commission finalised its assessment on 4 October 2018 and notified it to Parliament on the same day respecting the deadline of 12 weeks;

3.   Notes that Greece argues that the redundancies are linked to the global financial and economic crisis, more particularly its effects on the Greek economy including a decline in per capita real GDP, rising unemployment, decreasing salaries and reduced household income coupled with the rapid digital evolution which, together with cuts in the advertising expenditure made by important advertisers, is transforming the publishing sector; notes that  the sector is facing a drop in both advertising and sales revenues;

4.  Recalls that the redundancies that occurred in three enterprises operating in the Greek publishing sector are expected to have a significant adverse effect on the local economy, and that the impact of the layoffs is linked to the difficulties of redeployment due to the scarcity of jobs, a lack of vocational training courses which correspond to recognised needs in the labour market and to the high number of job seekers;

5.  Emphasises with concern that the Attica region accounts for a large proportion of unemployment and long-term unemployment in Greece where unemployment still remains high;

6.  Recalls that this is the second application from Greece for a financial contribution from the EGF in relation to redundancies in Attica’s publishing activities sector, following application EGF/2014/018 in 2014 and a positive decision thereon(4);

7.  Notes that the application relates to 550 workers made redundant, of whom a large number are women (41,82 %); further notes that 14,73 % of the redundant workers are over 55 years of age and 1,6 % are below 30 years of age; acknowledges, in view of that fact, the importance of active labour market measures co-funded by the EGF for improving the chances of reintegration in the labour market of these vulnerable groups;

8.  Welcomes that the planned training offer reflects lessons learnt from the application EGF-2014-018 GR/Attica which has achieved good integration rates according to ongoing evaluation;

9.  Notes that no measures are planned for young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) despite NEET rates remaining at high levels in Greece;

10.  Underlines that financial allowances are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries and can serve as a real incentive in the specific economic context of Greece;

11.  Notes that financial allowances and incentives, i.e. hiring incentives, job-search and training allowances are close to the maximum of 35 % set out in the EGF Regulation;

12.   Notes that Greece is planning five types of actions for the redundant workers covered by this application: (i) occupational guidance and job search assistance, (ii) training, retraining and vocational training in accordance with needs of the labour market, (iii) contribution to business start-up, (iv) job-search allowance and training allowance, (v) hiring incentives;

13.  Acknowledges that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with representatives of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (ΕΣΗΕΑ), the Employees Union of Athens Daily Newspapers

(ΕΠΗΕΑ) and the Ministry of Labour;

14.  Stresses that the Greek authorities have confirmed that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union funds or financial instruments and that any double financing will be prevented;

15.  Recalls that, in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy;

16.  Reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies, by virtue of national law or collective agreements, or measures for restructuring companies or sectors and welcomes Greece’s confirmation in this regard;

17.  Calls on the Commission to urge national authorities to provide more details, in future proposals, on the sectors which have growth prospects and are therefore likely to hire people, as well as to gather substantiated data on the impact of the EGF funding, including on the quality of jobs and the reintegration rate achieved through the EGF;

18.  Recalls its appeal to the Commission to ensure public access to all the documents related to EGF cases;

19.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

20.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its Annex, to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.

(2)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

(3)

OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(4)

Decision (EU) 2015/644 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 April 2015 on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application EGF/2014/018 GR/Attica broadcasting from Greece) (OJ L 106, 24.4.2015, p. 29–30).


ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund following anapplication from Greece – EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(1), and in particular Article 15(4) thereof,

Having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(2), and in particular point 13 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1)  The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aims to provide support for workers made redundant and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, as a result of a continuation of the global financial and economic crisis, or as a result of a new global financial and economic crisis, and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market.

(2)  The EGF is not to exceed a maximum annual amount of EUR 150 million (2011 prices), as laid down in Article 12 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013(3).

(3)  On 22 May 2018, Greece submitted an application to mobilise the EGF, in respect of redundancies in the publishing activities sector in the region of Attica. It was supplemented by additional information provided in accordance with Article 8(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013. That application complies with the requirements for determining a financial contribution from the EGF as laid down in Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013.

(4)  The EGF should, therefore, be mobilised in order to provide a financial contribution of EUR 2 308 500 in respect of the application submitted by Greece.

(5)  In order to minimise the time taken to mobilise the EGF, this decision should apply from the date of its adoption,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

For the general budget of the Union for the financial year 2018, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund shall be mobilised to provide the amount of EUR 2 308 500 in commitment and payment appropriations.

Article 2

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from [the date of its adoption](4)*.

Done at

For the European Parliament  For the Council

The President  The President

(1)

  OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.

(2)

  OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(3)

  Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).

(4)

*   Date to be inserted by the Parliament before the publication in OJ.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I.  Background

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns.

According to the provisions of Article 12 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(1) and of Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013(2), the Fund may not exceed a maximum annual amount of EUR 150 million (2011 prices). The appropriate amounts are entered into the general budget of the Union as a provision.

As concerns the procedure, according to point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3), in order to activate the Fund the Commission, in case of a positive assessment of an application, presents to the budgetary authority a proposal for mobilisation of the Fund and, at the same time, a corresponding request for transfer. In the event of disagreement, a trilogue shall be initiated.

II.  Greece’s application and the Commission's proposal

On 4 October 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of Greece to support the reintegration in the labour market of workers made redundant by three enterprises operating in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 (Publishing activities) in the NUTS level 2 region of Attica (EL30) in Greece . The proposal was transmitted to the European Parliament on 4 October 2018.

This is the ninth application to be examined under the 2018 budget and the third in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 (Publishing activities) since the establishment of the EGF. It concerns 550 workers made redundant and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 2 308 500 from the EGF for Greece.

The application was sent to the Commission on 22 May 2018 and supplemented by additional information by 1 August 2018. The Commission finalised its assessment on 4 October 2018 and has concluded, in accordance with all applicable provisions of the EGF Regulation, that the application meets the conditions for a financial contribution from the EGF, as referred to in Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation.

Greece argues that the redundancies are linked to the global financial and economic crisis, notably major structural changes in the publishing sector due to a steady decline in daily and periodical press sales coupled with cuts in the advertising expenditures made by important advertisers. This is the direct consequence of the economic downturn, reinforced by the digital evolution that diverted readers from printed press towards electronic press. This can mainly be explained by the predominantly free access to the digital press, as well as its easy accessibility and immediacy.

As a result, between 2011 and 2017, newspapers sales decreased from 144 million copies in 2011 to 57 million in 2017 and magazines sales fell from 60 million copies to 23 million. Between 2005 and 2014, the publishing sector’s turnover fell by 56,4 %. The turnover has further declined by 14,3 % in 2015, 8,3 % in 2016 and 19,5 % in 2017.

All the redundancies occurred in Attica, which accounts for 34,7% of total Greek unemployment and for 36% of long term unemployment. A large number of the workers made redundant are women (41.82 %). 14.73 % of the redundant workers are over 55 years old. Active labour market measures co-funded by the EGF are all the more important for improving the chances of reintegration in the labour market of these vulnerable groups.

The five types of actions to be provided to redundant workers for which EGF co-funding is requested consist of:

–  Occupational guidance: This accompanying measure will be offered to all participants covering the following stages: (i) general information, (ii) intake and registration, (iii) personal and occupational paper, (iv) job-search support and career guidance, (v) guidance towards employment, (vi) monitoring.

–  Training, retraining and vocational training: This measure consists in providing vocational training courses which correspond to recognised needs in the labour market and in areas and sectors with good development prospects. The trainings will also cater for the workers' needs, as identified during the occupational guidance.

–  Contribution to business start-up: The workers who set up their own businesses will receive up to EUR 15 000, as a contribution to cover setting-up costs.

–  Job-search allowance and training allowance: To cover the expenses incurred when participating in the occupational guidance activities, the beneficiaries will receive EUR 40 per day of participation. While in training the allowance will be EUR 3,33 per hour.

–  Hiring incentives: This payment benefits the redundant workers by facilitating their re-employment in a different enterprise. The hiring enterprise will receive EUR 650 per month for a maximum of six months, on condition the worker will be kept in the job once the incentive has ended, for at least additional six months.

According to the Commission, the described measures constitute active labour market measures within the eligible actions set out in Article 7 of the EGF Regulation and do not substitute passive social protection measures.

The Greek authorities have provided all necessary assurances regarding the following:– the principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination will be respected in the access to the proposed actions and their implementation,

– the requirements laid down in national and EU legislation concerning collective redundancies have been complied with,

– the dismissing enterprises, which have continued their activities after the lay-offs, have complied with their legal obligations governing the redundancies and provided for their workers accordingly,

– the proposed actions will not receive financial support from other Union funds or financial instruments and any double financing will be prevented,

– the proposed actions will be complementary with actions funded by the Structural Funds,

– the financial contribution from the EGF will comply with the procedural and material Union rules on State aid.

Greece has notified the Commission that the source of national pre-financing or co-funding is the National Public Investment Programme of the Greek Ministry of Economy and Development. The financial contribution will be managed and controlled by the NSRF(4) Executive Directorate of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity acting as managing authority, the EDEL (the Financial Audit Committee) as audit authority, and the Special Service for Certification and Verification of Co-financed Programs of the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Marine as certification authority.

III.  Procedure

In order to mobilise the Fund, the Commission has submitted to the Budgetary Authority a request to transfer a global amount of EUR 2 308 500 from the EGF reserve (40 02 43) to the EGF budget line (04 04 01).

This is the ninth transfer proposal for the mobilisation of the Fund transmitted to the Budgetary Authority to date during 2018.

The trilogue procedure shall be initiated in the event of disagreement, as provided for in Article 15(4) of the EGF Regulation.

According to an internal agreement, the Employment and Social Affairs Committee should be associated to the process, in order to provide constructive support and contribute to the assessment of the applications from the Fund.

(1)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

(2)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.

(3)

OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(4)

  National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)


LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS

D (2018)41901

Mr Jean Arthuis

Chair of the Committee on Budgets

ASP 09G205

Subject: Opinion on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the case EGF/2018/003 EL

Dear Chair,

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) as well as its Working Group on the EGF examined the mobilisation of the EGF for the case EGF/2018/003 EL and adopted the following opinion.

The EMPL committee and the Working Group on the EGF are in favour of the mobilisation of the Fund concerning this request. In this respect, the EMPL committee presents some remarks without, however, putting into question the transfer of the payments.

The deliberations of the EMPL committee are based on the following considerations:

A)  Whereas this application is based on Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 (EGF Regulation) and relates to 550 workers made redundant in 3 entreprises operating in in the economic sectors classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 (‘Publishing activities’ ) in the Attica region within the reference period of nine months;

B)  Whereas, in order to establish the link between the redundancies and the global financial and economic crisis, Greece argues that the daily and periodical press sales fell during the last years as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis still affecting Greece coupled with the rapid digital evolution transforming the publishing sector. The sector is facing a drop in both advertising and sales revenues;

C)  Whereas 41,8 % of the workers targeted by the measure are women and 58,8 % are men; whereas 83,63 % of the targeted beneficiaries are aged between 30 and 54 years, while 14,7 % are over 55 and 1,6 % are below 30 years old.

Therefore, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to integrate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution concerning the Greek application:

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the intervention criteria set out in Article 4(1)(b) of the Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 are met and that, therefore, the Greece is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 2 308 500 under this Regulation which represents 60% of the total cost of EUR3 847 500;

2.  Notes that the Commission respected the deadline of 12 weeks from the reception of the completed application from the Greek authorities and finalising its assessment on the compliance with the conditions for providing a financial contribution, on 4 October 2018, and notified it to Parliament by the same day;

3.  Emphasises with concern that the Attica region accounts for a large proportion of unemployment and long-term unemployment in Greece where unemployment still remains high;

4.  Notes that the EGF co-funded personalised services for the redundant workers include occupational guidance, and job search assistance; training and retraining in accordance with needs of the labour market; support for business start-ups; hiring incentives as well as job-search and training allowances;

5.  Notes that financial allowances and incentives, i.e. hiring incentives, job-search and training allowances are close to the maximum of 35 % set out in the Regulation;

6.  Underlines that financial allowances are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries and can serve as a real incentive in the specific economic context of Greece;

7.  Notes that no measures are planned for young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) despite NEET rates remaining at high levels in Greece;

8.  Welcomes that the planned training offer reflects lessons from the first application EGF-2014-018 GR Attica having achieved good integration rates according to ongoing evaluation;

9.  Welcomes the consultation with representatives of the Journalists’ union Athens daily newspapers, the Athens daily publications workers’ association and the Ministry of Labour;

10.  Notes that the Greek authorities have provided assurances that the proposed actions will not receive financial support from other Union funds or financial instruments and that any double financing will be prevented;

11.  Welcomes Greece’s confirmation that the dismissing enterprises have complied with their legal obligations, governing the redundancies;

12.  Recalls that in line with Article 7 of the Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy.

Yours sincerely,

Marita ULVSKOG


LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Letter of 15 October 2018 from Iskra Mihaylova, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development, to Jean Arthuis, Chair of the Committee on Budgets

Translation

Subject:  Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

Dear Mr Arthuis,

A Commission proposal for a decision to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) has been referred for opinion to the Committee on Regional Development. I understand that it is intended that a report on this will be soon adopted in the Committee on Budgets:

-  COM(2018)0667 proposes an EGF contribution of EUR 2,308,500 for 550 workers made redundant in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 - Publishing Activities. The redundancies made by the enterprises concerned are mainly located in the NUTS level 2 regions of Aττική (Attica) (EL30) in Greece.

The rules applicable to financial contributions from the EGF are laid down in Regulation (EU) No.1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No.1927/2006.

The Committee coordinators have assessed this proposal, and asked me to write to you reporting that the majority of this Committee has no objection to this mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to allocate the above-mentioned amount as proposed by the Commission.

(Closing formula and signature)


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

21.11.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Jean Arthuis, Richard Ashworth, Lefteris Christoforou, Gérard Deprez, Manuel dos Santos, André Elissen, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Monika Hohlmeier, John Howarth, Bernd Kölmel, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Urmas Paet, Răzvan Popa, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Jordi Solé, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Indrek Tarand, Inese Vaidere, Daniele Viotti, Tiemo Wölken, Stanisław Żółtek

Substitutes present for the final vote

Karine Gloanec Maurin, Tomáš Zdechovský


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

28

+

ALDE

Nedzhmi Ali, Jean Arthuis, Gérard Deprez, Urmas Paet

ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk

NI

Neoklis Sylikiotis

PPE

Richard Ashworth, Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Monika Hohlmeier, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Inese Vaidere, Tomáš Zdechovský, Patricija Šulin

S&D

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Karine Gloanec Maurin, John Howarth, Vladimír Maňka, Răzvan Popa, Daniele Viotti, Tiemo Wölken, Manuel dos Santos

VERTS/ALE

Jordi Solé, Indrek Tarand

3

-

ECR

Bernd Kölmel

ENF

André Elissen, Stanisław Żółtek

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 23 November 2018Legal notice