Job search aid for Germany, Italy, Belgium, disaster relief for Bulgaria, Greece
Germany, Italy and Belgium will get €14.6 million in EU aid to help redundant car and airline workers to find new jobs, and Bulgaria and Greece a total of €16.3 million to repair flood damage, after Parliament approved their applications on Tuesday.
Job search aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)
Number of beneficiaries
Amount of aid (€)
Adam Opel AG
Jens Geier (S&D, DE)
Ford Genk, 11 suppliers
Paul Rübig (EPP, AT)
Monika Vana (Greens/ALE, AT)
Opel, a maker of mid-priced, small and medium-sized cars, closed its plant in Bochum, Germany, to reduce excess production capacity after sales fell by 39% between 2007 and 2013. The shutdown made almost 2,900 people redundant, 2,692 of whom would benefit from the €7 million in EGF aid requested by Germany.
Parliament approved the application by 551 votes to 78, with 63 abstentions.
Belgium applied for EGF aid for the final wave of workers made redundant by car maker Ford Genk and its 11 suppliers when it closed its-manufacturing plant in Genk. The shutdown was due to a decline in passenger car production and sales of new cars in the EU, largely to the benefit of Asian carmakers. The application for €6.3 million in EGF aid aims to help 4,500 former workers get back to work.
Belgium has already received €570,000, to help former Ford workers find work, following an initial wave of redundancies in 2013.
The applications from Germany and Belgium are the 21st and 22nd in the automotive sector since the launch of EGF aid in 2007.
Parliament approved the application by 608 votes to 77, with 9 abstentions.
The Italian flag carrier dismissed over 1,200 workers, largely due to a decline in its market share of international air-passenger transport, most of which was taken up by carriers from the Gulf States and Turkey. Falling passenger numbers during the economic crisis and rising fuel prices aggravated Alitalia’s position. Most of the redundancies were in the Lazio region. Italy asked for EGF aid to help the 184 workers experiencing the greatest difficulties to find new jobs.
Worth €1.4 million, this is the second EGF aid application in the air transport sector (after that of Air France in 2013).
Parliament approved the application by 605 votes to 77, with 12 abstentions.
Disaster relief aid from the European Solidarity Fund (EUSF)
Date of disaster
Amount of aid (€)
Heavy rainfall, snow, floods, landslides
Floods in two areas
Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG)
The European Solidarity Fund will refund part of the costs that Bulgaria and Greece incurred to repair damage done by the severe winter weather that hit southeast Bulgaria and central, eastern and western Greece in January and February 2015.
In Greece, floods destroyed public buildings, private homes, businesses, agriculture and cultural heritage sites in the central and Evros regions, while in south-eastern Bulgaria, heavy rain and subsequent floods and landslides damaged dykes, communication networks and roads as well as public and private buildings.
Bulgaria will receive EU aid worth €6.3 million, and the two Greek regions a total of €9.9 million.
Parliament approved the application by 660 votes to 34, without abstentions.
- The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling is €150 million.
- The European Solidarity Fund (ESF) was set up in November 2002 to help EU countries in the aftermath of natural disasters. For 2015, the Fund can spend €895 million.