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Procedure : 2012/2155(BUD)
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Document selected : A7-0325/2012

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PV 23/10/2012 - 13.13
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: Application EGF/2011/015/SE/AstraZeneca

European Parliament resolution of 23 October 2012 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 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/015 SE/AstraZeneca from Sweden) (COM(2012)0396 – C7-0191/2012 – 2012/2155(BUD))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0396 – C7-0191/2012),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) (IIA of 17 May 2006), and in particular point 28 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(2) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 28 of the IIA of 17 May 2006,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0325/2012),

A.  whereas the European Union has set up the appropriate legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.  whereas the scope of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis,

C.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers 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 for the IIA of 17 May 2006 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the EGF,

D.  whereas Sweden has requested assistance for 987 redundancies, 700 of which are targeted for assistance, in AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company in Sweden,

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down by the EGF Regulation,

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 2(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Sweden is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

2.  Welcomes this call for the EGF financial contribution by the Swedish Government even though this Member State is opposed to the EGF after 2013;

3.  Notes that the Swedish authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 23 December 2011, supplemented by additional information up to 16 April 2012, and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 16 July 2012; welcomes the fact that the evaluation process and submission of additional information by Sweden were speedy and accurate;

4.  Notes that the affected enterprises are located in four of the 290 Swedish municipalities with the majority of the staff made redundant in Lund in southern Sweden; the closure of the AstraZeneca site is a heavy burden for Lund and also affects the entire pharmaceutical sector in Sweden; this development causes an imbalance in the regional labour market; unemployment increased in all affected municipalities from January 2009 to November 2011: in Lund from 2 467 to 3 025, Umeå from 3 725 to 4 539, Sodertalje from 3 100 to 5 555 and Mölndal from 1 458 to 1 663;

5.  Notes that Sweden has had a strong position in medical research and the collective redundancies in AstraZeneca had not been expected; while the worsening situation in the pharmaceutical sector due to the rising dominance of generics and outsourcing of research and development activites outside of Europe had been foreseen, the impact on AstraZeneca was more severe than anticipated;

6.  Notes that the R&D activities carried out in Lund site have been transferred by AstraZeneca to Mölndal site; inquires if any of the Lund workers were offered the possibility to be employed in the enlarged site of Mölndal instead of being dismissed;

7.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Swedish authorities decided to start the implementation of the measures on 26 October 2011 well ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

8.  Recalls the importance of improving the employability of all workers by means of tailored training and the recognition of skills and competences gained throughout the professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be adapted to the level and needs of the dismissed workers, especially since the majority of the dismissed workers were specialized science professionals and engineering technicians;

9.  Notes that the workers dismissed from Astra Zeneca are highly skilled and educated and therefore require specific approach; regrets that the Swedish authorities do not inform about the areas in which the training measures and occupational guidance have been planned and if and how these have been adapted to the local labour markets affected by the dismissal;

10.  Welcomes the fact that the social partners participated in the discussions concerning the EGF application and are expected to participate in the steering group overseeing the implementation of EGF assistance.

11.  Welcomes the fact that Swedish authorities plan to organise an awareness raising campaign about activities supported by the EGF;

12.  Notes that the coordinated package foresees several participation incentives to encourage participation in the measures: job search allowance of EUR 7 170 (calculated for an average of 6 months of participation) mobility allowance of EUR 500; recalls that the EGF support should be primarily allocated to training and job search as well as training programs instead of contributing directly to unemployment benefits which are the responsibility of national institutions;

13.  Highlights the fact that lessons should be learned from the preparation and implementation of this and other applications addressing mass dismissals, especially with respect to the activities in anticipation of redundancies and timeliness of the preparation of EGF applications;

14.  Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request for accelerating the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be integrated in the new Regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014–2020) and that greater efficiency, transparency, visibility and follow-up of the EGF will be achieved;

15.  Recalls the institutions’ commitment to ensuring a smooth and rapid procedure for the adoption of the decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF, providing one-off, time-limited individual support geared to helping workers who have been made redundant as a result of globalisation and the financial and economic crisis; emphasises the role that the EGF can play in the reintegration of workers made redundant into in the labour market;

16.  Stresses that, in accordance with Article 6 of the EGF Regulation, it should be ensured that the EGF supports the reintegration of individual redundant workers into long-term employment; further stresses that the EGF assistance can co-finance only active labour market measures which lead to durable, long-term employment; reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements, nor measures restructuring companies or sectors; deplores the fact that the EGF might provide an incentive for companies to replace their contractual workforce with a more precarious and short-term one;

17.  Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on the complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports in order to ensure full respect of the existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

18.  Welcomes the fact that following repeated requests from Parliament, the 2012 budget shows payment appropriations of EUR 50 000 000 on the EGF budget line 04 05 01; recalls that the EGF was created as a separate specific instrument with its own objectives and deadlines and therefore deserves a dedicated allocation, which will avoid transfers from other budget lines, as happened in the past, which could be detrimental to the achievement of the policy objectives of the EGF;

19.  Regrets the decision of the Council to block the extension of the ‘crisis derogation’, allowing to provide financial assistance to workers made redundant as a result of the current financial and economic crisis in addition to those losing their job because of changes in global trade patterns, and allowing the increase in the rate of Union co-financing to 65 % of the programme costs, for applications submitted after the 31 December 2011 deadline, and calls on the Council to reintroduce this measure without delay;

20.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

21.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union ;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.



on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/015 SE/AstraZeneca from Sweden)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/682/EU.)

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