MEPs approve €9.3m in EU aid for redundant workers in Sweden and Finland
Parliament gave its green light on Tuesday to EU aid worth €5.3 million to help find new jobs for 1,441 workers made redundant by Microsoft and its suppliers in Finland and almost €4 million for 918 workers made redundant by Ericsson in Sweden. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid had been approved by the EU Council of Ministers on 29 September.
The European Commission has proposed to give Finland €5,364,000 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 1,441 former workers at Microsoft and 8 of its suppliers and downstream producers to find new jobs. The main reason for the job losses at Microsoft is the declining market share of its phones (Lumia) that use the Microsoft Windows operating system. Most of the Microsoft redundancies were in the Helsinki-Uusimaa, Etelä-Suomi and Länsi-Suomi regions.
The contribution for Sweden amounts to €3,957,918, to help find new jobs for 918 workers made redundant by Ericsson in a climate of stagnating growth and increasingly tough competition from Asian producers. These redundancies were due to the partial or complete closure of wireless telecom hardware production lines at various Ericsson sites (Borås, Karlskrona, Kista/Stockholm, Kumla, Linköping and Gothenburg) in Sweden, and the closure of an entire plant in the city of Katrineholm.
EGF Sweden: 594 in favour, 71 against, 10 abstentions
EGF Finland: 594 in favour, 68 against, 12 abstentions
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was introduced in 2007 as a flexible instrument in the EU budget to provide support, under specific conditions, to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of mass redundancies caused by major changes in global trade (e.g. delocalisation to third countries).
The EGF contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling 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.