Budgets Committee approves EU aid for redundant workers in Ireland and Greece
The Budgets Committee has recommended that almost 1,500 workers made redundant in Ireland and Greece in 2014 should receive EU aid worth €11.3 million to help them find jobs. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole.
Irish aircraft repair shop: €2.5 million
The Irish subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik, an aircraft maintenance and repair service in south-east Ireland closed when its operation proved costly and its customers switched to new technologies. Its business repairing and trading in mostly classic engines and their spare parts was pushed out by the arrival of a new generation of aircraft increasingly manufactured and serviced in Asia. With the recent closure of several similar companies in Ireland, its former workers face considerable difficulties in finding jobs.
At the company and its two subsidiaries, 450 people were made redundant, prompting the Irish authorities to request €2.5 million in EGF aid to help retrain workers, put them through higher education or help them set up their own firms.
Greek broadcaster and publisher: €8.7 million
Athens-based Attica Broadcasting and Attica Publishing made 1,633 workers redundant when the crisis forced Greek households to reduce spending on non-essentials, including television subscriptions and newspapers. Newspapers lost 60% of their subscribers from 2009 to 2013, and mass media firms lost half their key source of revenue as advertisers withdrew.
Budgets Committee MEPs approved the Greek authorities’ applications for aid to complement their own efforts to re-train and find jobs for the laid-off workers. The €5.04 million for the broadcaster is the first application for EGF aid in the mass media sector, while the €3.75 million for the publisher is the second in the publishing sector.
Parliament as a whole is to vote on the applications at its plenary session on 25 March. The Council approved the applications today (16.03.2015).
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was set up to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or the financial crisis and to help them find new jobs. Between 2014 and 2020, the annual ceiling of the fund is €150 million.
Redundant workers are offered measures such as support for business start-ups, job-search assistance, occupational guidance and various kinds of training. In most cases, national authorities have already started taking measures and have their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.