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Procedure : 2014/2071(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0017/2014

Texts tabled :

A8-0017/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 21/10/2014 - 8.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0032

Texts adopted
PDF 232kWORD 62k
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 - Strasbourg Final edition
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2013/002 BE/Carsid – Belgium
P8_TA(2014)0032A8-0017/2014
Resolution
 Annex

European Parliament resolution of 21 October 2014 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 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2013/002 BE/Carsid from Belgium) (COM(2014)0553 – C8-0136/2014 – 2014/2071(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0553 – C8‑0136/2014),

–  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(1) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2) , and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3) (IIA of 2 December 2013), and in particular point 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 13 of the IIA of 2 December 2013,

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

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0017/2014),

A.  whereas the Union has set up 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 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 2 December 2013 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),

C.  whereas the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013(4) reflects the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to reintroduce the crisis mobilisation criterion, to increase Union financial contribution to 60 % of the total estimated cost of proposed measures, to increase efficiency for the treatment of EGF applications in the Commission and by the Parliament and the Council by shortening time for assessment and approval, to widen eligible actions and beneficiaries by introducing self-employed persons and young people and to finance incentives for setting up own businesses,

D.  whereas Belgium submitted application EGF/2013/002 BE/Carsid for a financial contribution from the EGF, following 939 redundancies, with 752 persons expected to participate in the measures, linked to the closure of the production plant of Carsid SA (‘Carsid’)(5) located in Marcinelle near Charleroi in Belgium during the reference period from 28 September 2012 to 28 January 2013,

E.  whereas the financial contribution requested from the EGF amounts to EUR 911 934 (50 % of the total budget),

F.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down in the EGF Regulation,

1.  Notes that the application is based on Article 2(a) of the EGF Regulation; agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Belgium is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

2.  Notes that the Belgian authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 2 April 2013, supplemented it by additional information up to 4 July 2014 and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 5 September 2014;

3.  Notes that the relatively long procedure from the date of the first redundancies until the assessment of the application allowed for the collection of precise information related to this case;

4.  Expresses concerns about the length of this instruction period and recalls that the EGF should intervene as quickly as possible;

5.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Belgian authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 October 2012, well ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

6.  Welcomes the fact that such delays should disappear thanks to the entering into force of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, even though quick handling of the mobilisation requests shouldn't be done at the expense of efficiency;

7.  Considers that the redundancies in the production plant of Carsid SA (‘Carsid’) are linked to major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and a rapid decline in the Union’s market share in the sector of the production of continuously-cast crude steel (which includes billets, blooms and slabs) at worldwide level and a consistent decline in the production of cast crude steel in the Union due to a decrease in demand for steel in the automotive and construction sectors;

8.  Notes that the redundancies at Carsid are expected to significantly worsen unemployment in the Charleroi area (a former coal-mining and steelmaking area in which employment is strongly dependant on traditional heavy industry) which is characterised by a high proportion of long-term unemployment and low qualification and skills levels; notes that in 2012, the unemployment rate in the area of Charleroi (arrondissement) was 21,6 %, compared to 15,8 % on average in the Walloon Region and 11,2 % at national level;

9.  Welcomes the active labour market measures and that allowances are not listed amongst the personalised services to be supported by the EGF intervention;

10.  Underlines the importance of the efficiency of the personalised services provided to the beneficiaries, particularly because, due to the decline in employment in the manufacturing sector in the affected region, these workers will have to retrain to find jobs in other occupations in other sectors;

11.  Notes that the production of continuously-cast crude steel in the EU-27 decreased by 13,4 % between 2006 and 2011 and the EU-27’s market share in the same time frame has decreased by 30,7 %; highlights that the steel sector in Europe is therefore exposed to serious economic difficulties; recalls in this respect that the steel sector has been the subject of 4 EGF applications(6) ;

12.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services to be co-funded includes the following measures for the reintegration of 752 redundant workers into employment (grouped by category): (1) individual job-search assistance, case management and general information services and (2) training and retraining;

13.  Welcomes the fact that various social partners and organisations were involved in the general coordination and implementation of the measures: trade unions (FGTB, CSC), the sectoral vocational and technological training centres active in the Walloon region, FOREM (the public employment and training service of the Walloon Region), the European Social Fund (ESF) Agency of the French Community of Belgium and the Walloon Government; appreciates furthermore that trade unions are directly involved in the management of the specifically set up Redeployment Unit and in the implementation of certain measures;

14.  Recalls the importance of improving the employability of all workers by means of adapted training and the recognition of skills and competences gained throughout a worker's professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be adapted not only to the needs of the dismissed workers but also to the actual business environment;

15.  Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; stresses that the Belgian authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments; 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;

16.  Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request for the accelerated release of grants, aimed at presenting to the Parliament and the Council the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; underlines that further improvements in the procedure have been integrated in Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility of the EGF will be achieved;

17.  Stresses that, in accordance with Article 6 of the EGF Regulation, it shall be ensured that the EGF supports the reintegration of individual redundant workers into stable employment; stresses, furthermore, that 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;

18.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

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

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

(1) OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(4) Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855).
(5) Carsid produced steel slabs intended for further processing by plants belonging to the Duferco group in Belgium (mainly for the production of hot-rolled products and cold-rolled products used in the construction, transport equipment and automotive sectors). Between 2006 and 2011 Carsid was part of a joint venture between Duferco and NLMK. This application is therefore linked with application EGF/2013/007 BE/Hainaut steel (Duferco-NLMK).
(6) See EGF database, available at http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=582.


ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with Point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2013/002 BE/Carsid from Belgium)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2014/811/EU.)

Last updated: 30 May 2017Legal notice