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Procedure : 2014/2183(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0063/2014

Texts tabled :

A8-0063/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 16/12/2014 - 5.10
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0082

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014 - Strasbourg Final edition
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2014/013 EL/Odyssefs Fokas - Greece
P8_TA(2014)0082A8-0063/2014
Resolution
 Annex

European Parliament resolution of 16 December 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/2014/013 EL/Odyssefs Fokas, from Greece) (COM(2014)0702 – C8-0245/2014 – 2014/2183(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0702 – C8‑0245/2014),

–  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 (A8-0063/2014),

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 or that of a global financial and economic crisis and to assist the reintegration of those workers into the labour market,

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers who have been made redundant should be dynamic 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 to the IIA of 2 December 2013 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),

C.  whereas the adoption of the EGF Regulation reflects the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to reintroduce the crisis mobilisation criterion, to set the Union financial contribution to 60 % of the total estimated cost of the proposed measures, to increase efficiency for the treatment of EGF applications in the Commission and by the Parliament and the Council by shortening the time for assessment and approval, to widen eligible actions and beneficiaries by introducing self-employed persons and young people and to finance incentives for setting up own businesses,

D.  whereas the Greek authorities submitted application EGF/2014/013 EL/Odyssefs Fokas on 29 July 2014 following the dismissal of 551 workers in Odyssefs Fokas S.A., an enterprise which operated in the economic sector classified under NACE Rev. 2 division 47 ('Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles'),

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set up by the EGF Regulation,

1.  Welcomes the fact that the Greek authorities take into consideration the great benefits of this budgetary instrument and have already made use of it several times as a means to tackle negative effects of the financial and economic crisis;

2.  Notes that the Greek authorities submitted the application under the intervention criterion of point (a) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation, which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant or self-employed persons' activity ceasing, over a reference period of four months in an enterprise in a Member State, including workers made redundant or self-employed persons' activity ceasing in its suppliers and downstream producers;

3.  Notes that the Greek authorities submitted the application for an EGF financial contribution on 29 July 2014, and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 11 November 2014; welcomes the speedy evaluation procedure of less than five months;

4.  Notes that the Greek authorities argue that there were primarily two events giving rise to the redundancies: the decrease in available household income – due to the increase in the tax burden, decreasing salaries (of both private and public employees) and rising unemployment – resulting in a huge drop in purchasing power; and the drastic reduction in loans to enterprises and individuals due to the lack of cash in the Greek banks;

5.  Agrees that these factors are linked to the global financial and economic crisis addressed in Regulation (EC) No 546/2009(4) and that Greece is therefore entitled to an EGF contribution;

6.  Notes that to date, the retail sector has been the subject of another three EGF applications, two of them from Greece, which were also based on the global financial and economic crisis;

7.  Notes that these redundancies will further aggravate the unemployment situation in a country where, during the period 2008-2013, the number of unemployed people increased four-fold and which presents the highest unemployment rate among Member States and the fifth highest worldwide; is especially concerned about the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia, in which 90 % of the redundancies are concentrated and which already have unemployment rates above the national average of 27,5 %;

8.  Notes that in addition to the 551 redundancies within the reference period, 49 workers dismissed before the reference period of four months are also included in the number of eligible beneficiaries, which amounts in total to 600 persons; notes that 89,17 % of the redundant workers eligible for EGF support are women;

9.  Welcomes that, additionally, the Greek authorities will provide personalised services co-financed by the EGF for up to 500 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30 on the date of submission of the application, given that all of the redundancies referred to in paragraph 8 occur in the NUTS level 2 regions of Κεντρική Μακεδονία (Central Macedonia) (EL12), Θεσσαλία (Thessaly) (EL14) and Aττική (Attica) (EL30), which are eligible under the Youth Employment Initiative, hence the total number of beneficiaries is 1100;

10.  Notes that the Greek authorities decided to provide personalised services co-financed by the EGF to up to 500 NEETs under the age of 30; notes that, according to the application, the Greek authorities will use – among others – criteria aligned with the criteria included in the Greek Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan (i.e. young people at risk of exclusion, level of household income, education level, duration of unemployment, etc.), as well as expressions of interest; calls on the Greek authorities to bear in mind the social criteria and to ensure that the selection of the recipients of EGF support fully respects the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities;

11.  Supports the social criteria applied by the Greek authorities to identify the NEETs to be targeted by EGF measures, taking into account data on household income, education level and duration of unemployment; calls for the selection of the recipients to fully respect the principles of non-discrimination so as to give opportunities to those furthest away from the labour market;

12.  Calls on the Greek authorities to provide detailed information on the funded actions and outcomes in view of sharing best practices, especially with regard to the selection of and support provided to NEETs;

13.  Notes that the estimated total costs are EUR 10 740 000, of which EUR 210 000 is dedicated to implementation, and that the financial contribution of the EGF amounts to EUR 6 444 000, which represents 60 % of the total costs;

14.  Notes that the contribution for preparatory activities, management, information and publicity, and control and reporting constitutes 1,96 % of the total budget; notes furthermore that it is planned to use almost half of this contribution for information and publicity;

15.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Greek authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 20 October 2014, ahead of the final decision on the granting of EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

16.  Notes that the Greek authorities have indicated that the co-ordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with representatives of the targeted beneficiaries (former Fokas employees and lawyers of the employees) and the Federation of Private Employees in Greece;

17.  Notes that the personalised services which are to be provided have been designed to take into account the specific needs of NEETs and consist of the following measures: occupational guidance, training, retraining and vocational training, contributions to business start-ups, job-search allowances, training allowances and mobility allowances;

18.  Underlines the importance of personalised services that aim to help the targeted beneficiaries to identify their skills and to establish a realistic career plan based on their interests and qualifications;

19.  Welcomes that monitoring is included among the measures proposed, providing for a follow-up of the participants during the six months that follow the end of the implementation of the measures;

20.  Notes that most of the requested funds are to support contribution to business start-ups (EUR 3 000 000) and training measures (EUR 2 960 000);

21.  Notes that the maximum eligible amount of EUR 15 000 will be granted to up to 200 selected workers and NEETs as a contribution to setting up their own businesses; underlines that the aim of this measure is to promote entrepreneurship by providing funding to viable business initiatives, which should result in the creation of further workplaces in the medium term; notes that this maximum eligible amount will be granted subject to specific conditions and the viability of the supported business start-ups;

22.  Emphasises the genuine added value and recommends the offer of active labour market measures; notes that approximately one third of the planned support consists of allowances and thus passive labour market measures;

23.  Notes that the cost of the training measures in this application is at a comparable level with previous applications from Greece; points out that there is a variation in these costs in similar applications from other Member States;

24.  Calls on the European Social Fund (ESF) measures planned within the new ESF programming period to complement the EGF plan and to facilitate the workers' reintegration into future-oriented and sustainable economic sectors; recalls that, in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services supported by the EGF should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient economy;

25.  Welcomes that the principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination will be respected in the access to the proposed actions and their implementation;

26.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

27.  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;

28.  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 167, 29.6.2009, p. 26.


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 (application EGF/2014/013 EL/Odyssefs Fokas, from Greece)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/43.)

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