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Tuesday, 24 November 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: Belgium - textile industry; Ireland - Dell - Relocation of undertakings in the EU and the role of EU financial instruments (debate)

  Ivo Belet (PPE).(NL) I should like to make a brief structural remark on the structural effects of the fund. Naturally, we are delighted with the projects that are on the table today and that await approval tomorrow. Yet there is room for improvement in all of them, of course, which is the reason for my brief remark.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fund sometimes overshoots the mark, the simple reason being that the procedure is too cumbersome, Commissioner. After all, the core objective of the fund is for workers who are affected and lose their jobs to receive rapid support and help in finding a new job. This is not always working at present, as we are unable to act quickly enough, and that is very annoying, particularly for older workers. Indeed, outplacement and relief require a rapid, firm approach, which is totally lacking at the moment.

In addition, the Globalisation Fund suffers from a lack of flexibility, and if you are a worker who is made redundant and is unfortunate enough to come from a company that is not on the list, you will simply not be eligible for support. Every day, we are faced with stories like this from workers who have been affected but who are not eligible, and we struggle to explain – since it is so complicated – why it is no go.

It is my view that a practical solution must be found to this as soon as possible, Commissioner, and that we need a much quicker approach and also, if possible, a formula that will enable us to adopt an ‘envelope-oriented’ way of working. In my opinion, action must be taken on this in the next few weeks and months.

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