European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: employment MEPs endorse EP/Council deal
Committee : Employment and Social Affairs
EU aid to redundant workers would continue in 2014-2020 and go to new categories of workers, such as the self-employed and those on temporary contracts, under a provisional deal struck by Employment and Social Affairs Committee MEPs and the Lithuanian Presidency and approved by the committee on Tuesday. If approved at the November plenary, it will take effect on 1 January 2014.
"I am particularly pleased that we were successful in including workers made redundant by the current crisis – a measure Parliament has consistently called for. We ensured a timely and targeted response for redundant workers and this new agreement should speed up the process. We also wanted to see real added value and ensure that member states do not use the fund to merely substitute for supports already in place," said the rapporteur, Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE).Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE)
"Too many European citizens are facing difficulties on the labour market. While helping workers improve their skills and be ready for new decent employment opportunities, this key tool will continue to be used to mitigate the effects of the current economic crisis," said Employment and Social Affairs committee chair Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR).
Thanks to Parliament, the EGF's scope has been extended to make the aid available again to people who have lost their jobs as a result of the economic crisis, in addition to the prime objective of cushioning the effects of globalisation. The threshold for triggering support from the fund is 500 redundancies.
In addition, new categories of workers could benefit from EGF aid, such as workers with fixed-term contracts, temporary agency workers and the self-employed.
Inclusion of a youth unemployment chapter
Under the compromise agreement, EGF aid could be made available on a temporary basis to young people identified by Parliament as being "Not in Education, Employment or Training" (NEETs) and from the regions affected by redundancies.
EGF aid is added to contributions from member states which part-finance schemes to get redundant workers back into work.
Parliament ensured that, under the deal, the EGF share should meet 60% of the cost of measures such as job search assistance, training and support for business start-ups, rather than the 50% co-financing rate initially proposed by the European Commission.
Parliament originally wanted co-financing rates to be differentiated according to the economic situations of the member states, but agreed in the end to a higher single rate as a compromise.
A cap for financial allowances
Parliament also ensured that EGF aid in the form of financial allowances will not exceed 35% of the total costs.This means that the workers concerned will benefit from more training and career guidance and member states will not be able to use EGF aid as a substitute for unemployment benefit.
The deal has to be formally approved by the full Parliament and the Council. I
Procedure: first reading
Plenary vote: November 2013
Voting results: 38 votes in favour, 2 against and 3 abstentions.
In the chair: Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR)