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Procedure : 2014/2041(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0003/2014

Texts tabled :

A8-0003/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 17/09/2014 - 9.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0016

Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014 - Strasbourg Final edition
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund - application EGF/2014/000 TA 2014 -Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission
P8_TA(2014)0016A8-0003/2014
Resolution
 Annex

European Parliament resolution of 17 September 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with 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 (application EGF/2014/000 TA 2014 – Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission) (COM(2014)0366 – C8-0031/2014 – 2014/2041(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0366 – C8‑0031/2014),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions on a Compact for Growth and Jobs of 28-29 June 2012,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 7-8th February 2013,

–  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 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 report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0003/2014),

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, dramatically aggravated by the economic, financial and social crisis, and to assist their reintegration into the labour market;

B.  whereas the amount of EUR 330 000 proposed to be mobilised by the Commission for technical assistance in 2014 is below the maximum of 0,5 % of the annual maximum amount of the EGF (EUR 150 million at 2011 prices) as laid down by Article 11(1) of the EGF Regulation;

C.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be adequate and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 2 December 2013 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the EGF;

D.  whereas the findings of the Commission’s Internal Audit suggest improvement and securing of the functionalities of the EGF database, which require external expertise;

E.  whereas up to 0,5 % of the annual EGF amount can be made available each year for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, in order to finance preparation, monitoring, data gathering and creation of a knowledge base, administrative and technical support, information and communication activities as well as audit, control and evaluation activities necessary to implement the EGF Regulation, as stipulated in Article 11(1) of that Regulation; whereas technical assistance shall also include the provision of information and guidance for the Member States in using, monitoring and evaluating the EGF to the European and national social partners, as stipulated in Article 11(4) of the EGF Regulation;

F.  whereas the technical assistance expenditure in year 2014 is significantly reduced compared to the previous year, also due to the fact that there are no evaluations to be funded;

G.  whereas, in accordance with Article 12(2) of the EGF Regulation, the Commission is obliged to set up an internet site, available in all Union languages, to provide and disseminate information on applications and highlighting the role of the Parliament and the Council in the budgetary procedure;

H.  whereas the final phase of the ex-post evaluation of the EGF (2007-2013) was conducted in 2013;

I.  whereas, on the basis of those articles, the Commission requested that the EGF be mobilised to cover expenditures in relation to technical assistance in order to monitor applications received and paid and measures proposed and implemented, to expand the website and translate new elements in all Union languages, increase the visibility of EGF, produce publications and audio-visual tools, to create a knowledge base, to provide administrative and technical support to Member States and regional authorities and not requesting funds for evaluations in 2014;

J.  whereas the number of EGF cases that has been wound up until today provides for a considerable number of qualitative and quantitative data regarding the influence of the EGF in relation to the employability of the workers made redundant due to the effects of globalisation and the financial and economic crisis;

K.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set up by the EGF Regulation;

L.  whereas the cost of information activities in 2014 is significantly reduced;

M.  whereas the EGF Working Groups have frequently underlined the necessity of a better visibility of the EGF as a community instrument of solidarity with the workers made redundant;

N.  whereas preparations are on-going with a view to integrating the EGF into the electronic data exchange system (SFC2014);

O.  whereas the technical assistance provided by the Commission to the Member States supports and enhances the use of the EGF by providing information on the applications and by spreading best practice among the Member States;

1.  Agrees with the measures proposed by the Commission to be financed as technical assistance in accordance with Article 11(1) and (4) as well as with Article 12(2), (3) and (4) of the EGF Regulation;

2.  Recalls the importance of networking and exchange of information on the EGF; supports, therefore, the funding of the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF as well as other networking activities among the Member States including this year's networking seminar for practitioners on the implementation of the EGF; underlines the need to further enhance the liaising between all those involved in EGF applications, including namely the social partners and stakeholders at regional and local level, to create as many synergies as possible;

3.  Notes that the cost of information activities is significantly reduced in 2014; underlines the importance of this not having an adverse effect on the production and sufficient distribution of information material and necessary guidance on the EGF Regulation in the first year of its implementation;

4.  Encourages the Commission to further enhance its work on the standardised procedures for simplified applications, faster processing of the applications and better reporting with the aim of easing the administrative burden for the Member States; encourages the Commission to increase the visibility of EGF in further actions;

5.  Underlines the importance of increasing general awareness about EGF and its visibility; reminds applicant Member States of their role to publicise the actions funded by EGF to the targeted beneficiaries, authorities, social partners, the media and the general public, as set out in Article 12 of the EGF Regulation;

6.  Notes the fact that the Commission will make available a print run of the EGF ex-post evaluation together with an online publication;

7.  Welcomes the fact that the final phase of the ex-post evaluation of EGF (2007-2013) was conducted in 2013; calls for the timely publication of the final evaluation in accordance with the deadline set in Article 17 of the previous EGF Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006);

8.  Calls on the co-legislators to introduce special provisions to facilitate the mobilisation of the EGF in the Member States which are facing particularly serious social, economic and financial constraints;

9.  Notes that the Commission has already started to work in 2011 on the electronic application form and the standardised procedures for simplified applications, faster processing of the applications and better reporting; notes furthermore the preparations to integrate the EGF into the electronic data exchange system (SFC2014); asks the Commission to present the progress made following the use of technical assistance between 2011 and 2013;

10.  Deeply regrets that the Commission did not duly analyse the effectiveness of the use of the crisis derogation criterion, especially taking into account that these EGF cases were not duly considered in the EGF framework review; regrets, however, that the results did not arrive in time to feed into the discussion on the new regulation for the EGF in 2014-2020, especially regarding the effectiveness of the use of the crisis derogation criterion; still believes that this should be taken into account for the future evaluation of the EGF; calls on the co-legislators to consider the reintroduction of this measure without delay, especially in the context of the social emergency situations in several Member States;

11.  Recalls the importance of networking and exchange of information on the EGF, particularly in relation to the provisions of the EGF Regulation; supports, therefore, the funding of the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF; calls on the Commission to invite the Parliament to the expert group meetings and seminars in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission(4); underlines furthermore the importance to liaise with all those involved in EGF applications, including the social partners;

12.  Urges the Member States to profit from the exchange of best practices and to learn particularly from those Member States, regional and local authorities that have already put in place national information networks on the EGF involving the social partners and stakeholders at local and regional level with a view of having a good structure for assistance in place once any situation which falls under the scope of the EGF might occur; points out the need to encourage assistance with autonomy and ease of access at regional level to implement a bottom up ethos, empowering local solutions at a regional level where any situation which falls under the scope of the EGF might occur;

13.  Requests the Member States and all the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; notes in this sense, the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request to accelerate the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the Parliament and the Council the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; takes note of the adoption of the EGF Regulation which will allow greater efficiency, transparency, accountability and visibility of the EGF;

14.  Strongly believes that it is essential that Union expenditure is closely scrutinised on the basis of value for money; asks the Commission to outline clearly the added value in terms of tangible outcomes in creating a separate budget line for the EGF;

15.  Welcomes the extension of the objectives and criteria of the EGF Regulation introduced in December 2013, in order to integrate and facilitate applications from regions and countries with a smaller demographic density; deeply regrets that this has an exceptional character and is limited to a threshold of a maximum of 15% of the maximum annual amount of the EGF, while these regions are suffering a much higher impact of the global social, economic and financial crisis;

16.  Welcomes the extension of the scope of the EGF regarding the eligible beneficiaries, namely self-employed persons, and the provision of personalised services co-financed by the EGF to a number of NEETs under the age of 25, or when the Member States decide under the age of 30; nevertheless, believes that the EGF would increase its effectiveness and produce a much higher impact if the general threshold would be placed at 200 workers, instead of 500;

17.  Following the extension of the objectives, criteria and eligible beneficiaries of the EGF, insists on the need to increase the level of appropriations available for the EGF both in commitments and in payments to at least the 2013 level, that is to say, to at least EUR 500 million, in full alignment with the policy priorities set by the Union regarding the promotion of investment for growth and jobs; furthermore, reminds the Council of the Parliament's position to consider the integration of the EGF in the Union budget in the framework of the 2014-2020 MFF review, in accordance with the principle of budgetary unity;

18.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

19.  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;

20.  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) OJ L 304, 20.11.2010, p. 47.


ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with 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 (EGF/2014/000 TA 2014 - Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2014/697/EU.)

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