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Procedure : 2012/2572(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000014/2012

Texts tabled :

O-000014/2012 (B7-0102/2012)

Debates :

PV 13/03/2012 - 7
CRE 13/03/2012 - 7

Votes :

Texts adopted :


Verbatim report of proceedings
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

7. European Globalisation Adjustment Fund crisis derogation (debate)
Video of the speeches
Minutes
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  President. – The next item is the oral question to the Council on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund crisis derogation by Ms Berès and Ms Harkin, on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (O-000014/2012 - B7-0102/2012).

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès, author. (FR) Mr President, Mr Wammen, I address this question to you because Parliament does not understand what is happening at the Council.

In December, we adopted by a very large majority the Commission’s proposal to extend European Globalisation Adjustment Fund crisis measures. Now we see it has been completely blocked at the Council in an inconsistent move that we do not understand – for can we declare the crisis over? Can we really say that this fund has not been a useful reflection of the effects of this crisis on workers?

Today, growth forecasts for European GDP are between 0.5% and 3%. Or is Mr Draghi mistaken when he cites these figures for future European growth? The Commission itself predicted an economic downturn of 0.3% across the European Union in its latest projections published in February, despite the fact that in November 2011, it was still expecting 0.5% growth in 2012. Where will the crisis end?

The crisis facing those employed in industry threatens the very existence of European sentiment. It encourages scepticism towards the European Union. It causes us to turn our backs on the very essence of our peaceful coexistence and ignores the elements of social justice we could provide. Applications submitted under crisis-related criteria have only increased since this crisis has not gone away.

I must tell you Mr President that within the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, we have had the opportunity to hear from Spanish and Lithuanian experts who told us how valuable this crisis mechanism was. Furthermore, I wish to bear witness here to the response of the German public authorities. The director of the European Social Fund group has testified to the exemplary nature of this mechanism in bringing about social innovation and enabling workers affected by this crisis to find a European answer to their problems. However, today, his government constitutes a majority in favour of blocking the extension of this mechanism. We do not understand this and ask you, on behalf of the Presidency of the European Union, to use all your power to break this deadlock.

I believe those who consistently argue for more flexicurity. Flexibility certainly exists, with widespread redundancies – day after day, we see jobs disappearing. Provide a little bit of security, allow these workers to be given training, a transitional period as they adapt to the new situation they find themselves in. I am worried that if this is the position of the Council today on the extension of the crisis mechanism, what will happen tomorrow when, as part of the financial perspectives, we are to negotiate the extension of mechanisms to all farmers affected by free trade agreements? There comes a time when the Council must choose between real solidarity and fake solidarity.

Today, we prefer evidence and we do not believe the time has come for happy announcements of growth that might one day lead to job creation, or for the abolition of one of the few tools at the European Union’s disposal to provide concrete help, support and solidarity to workers affected not only by globalisation but, above all, by the financial crisis.

We are counting on you, Mr President. You must change the majority in the Council, including among those Member States that are today refusing this extension of the derogation, despite being exemplary users of these funds.

 
  
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  Nicolai Wammen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I am grateful to the Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Ms Berès, and the rapporteur, Ms Harkin, for giving the Presidency this opportunity to present the state of the proposal to extend the crisis derogation under the current European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the EGF.

I would like to begin by recalling one important fact. The current EGF has not been repealed. It continues to function as decided by our two institutions back in 2006, and the authors of the questions suggest that the Council has come to the conclusion that the current crisis is over. I can assure you that is by no means the case. At the most recent meeting the other week, Heads of State or Government concluded that tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the current crisis was one of the main priorities for 2012. It is, of course, primarily up to each Member State to take the necessary measures and follow the policy it considers to be the most appropriate to combat unemployment. Even though this now happens within a strong European policy framework, the crisis derogation to the EGF was introduced for a limited time as a supplementary instrument for helping combat some of the consequences of the crisis.

When the Commission put forward its proposal to extend the mechanism, there was insufficient support within the Council. There were a number of reasons expressed by Member States as to why they were not ready to endorse the Commission’s proposal. In general, doubts over its added value persisted. Some Member States underlined that the labour market policies lie firmly within national competence. Others already have access to well-developed aid mechanisms at national level and consider the EGF contribution to be a useful but not essential complement to these mechanisms. Some felt it was inappropriate, at a time of national austerity, to introduce new unforeseen expenditure in the EU budget. These are just a few examples. Of course, there were also a significant number of Member States who supported the proposal.

Since the Commission presented its proposal in the middle of last year, the Polish Presidency made a tremendous effort to find a solution which would meet the concerns of all Member States. However, the EPSCO Council in December failed to reach agreement on any of the compromise proposals tabled. Since then, the Danish Presidency has made further attempts and tabled a new compromise, but even recent efforts to try to break the deadlock through direct contacts with Ministers failed to achieve an outcome.

As President, I regret that it was not possible to reach an acceptable compromise. However, we cannot, of course, oblige other Member States to change their positions. Under these conditions, we came to the conclusion that further negotiations on crisis derogation could hinder progress on the future EGF. There were good reasons for this. Already, early on in the discussions on the extension of the crisis derogation for the current EGF, it was underlined that the extensions would not pre-empt the negotiations on the future EGF.

As you know, these negotiations take place within the context of the wider negotiations on the new multiannual financial framework. We had a first round of discussions on the future EGF on 27 February and I can assure the European Parliament that the Council will debate this proposal on its own merits. Here in Parliament, you have had preliminary discussions in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and discussions so far both within the Council and here in Parliament showed that there are serious doubts about several important aspects of the new EGF regulation, notably, the inclusion of the agricultural sector.

I would like to assure you of the commitment of the Danish Presidency to taking forward the discussions on the future EGF. I look forward both to hearing your views on this issue this morning as well as to the further work which will be needed between our two institutions as we seek to make progress in the negotiations.

 
  
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  Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, on behalf of the PPE Group.(FR) Mr President, Mr Wammen, I have listened to you very carefully, but you see before you someone who actively promotes the Globalisation Adjustment Fund on behalf of workers affected by the crisis as thousands of jobs are disappearing.

Go and say what you just said to the 1 600 Irish Dell employees who lost their jobs! Go and tell that to the Portuguese, who have seen huge job losses in the textile industry or the Spanish, who have suffered job losses in the wood and ceramic industries and to the many others. The competitiveness of companies is at stake here, because the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which must allow us to reintegrate people affected by unemployment back into the labour market, also serves to make companies more competitive and you are therefore threatening the economic health of Europe.

Indeed, we are going through a time of crisis – we are still in crisis and certainly will be for some years. Fighting the crisis forms part of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. Indeed, it is essential that, at the Council, you exercise true leadership to ensure that countries agree to this commitment to integrate the most vulnerable workers into economic life. It is all our futures, it is the credibility of Europe and it is the credibility of the Council, Mr President, that are at stake.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Frédéric Daerden, on behalf of the S&D Group.(FR) Mr President, this debate on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and the extension of crisis-related criteria concerns me in many respects, as it seems to me that, beyond the refusal to extend crisis-related criteria, it is the fund itself which is being targeted, particularly on the part of some Member States who no longer wish to hear mention of EU social action.

However, the EGF is an essential part of EU action on restructuring. This importance has been intensified by the crisis and the current situation, whereby the European citizen is losing confidence in the EU. The increase, every year, in the number and volume of applications since 2006 goes to demonstrate this. Furthermore, this fund is seen to be an imperfect but effective tool, highly individualised and adapted to the needs of workers made redundant, for each specific case, whether in terms of training tailored to the needs of the region or support for job hunting. In addition, this opposition to EU employment and social action completely contradicts the conclusions of the Council on growth and employment. To make progress in this area, we must invest in instruments like the EGF and not rely solely on completing the internal market.

When the White Paper on pensions was published, keeping senior citizens in employment and increasing the effective retirement age were quite generally considered to be necessities. This fund, particularly in the context of the crisis, can and must contribute to this. Finally, in my view, the Commission’s proposal to include farmers is another indication of this desire for a ‘dismantling’. The EU has too few social tools to create inconsistent, hybrid tools from them, as this proposal suggests.

Mr President, it is essential that we ensure the future of a fund that responds to real needs, and thus to the crisis. Is the issue really that of crisis or non crisis-related criteria, or is it the desire of some to deny the social role of the EU?

 
  
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  Marian Harkin, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, as Ms Berès has already said, in December of last year, Parliament overwhelmingly supported the continuation of the crisis derogation. If we look at the applications that came into the EGF in December 2011, 13 applications under the crisis derogation came in December alone. What is astonishing is that three of those applications came in from one Member State that is objecting to the extension of the crisis derogation. I cannot make any sense of that and I really would like to hear an explanation from the relevant Member State.

We have already heard the arguments here today about the crisis. We know the crisis is not over but what I again find astonishing is just one figure, that of youth unemployment. The average in the EU 27 is 21.6% but there are 11 Member States – not just two or three – there are 11 where the youth unemployment rate is over 25%. So we cannot, under any circumstances, say that the crisis has passed.

So my question to the President-in-Office is: does the blocking minority support the EGF as an instrument in the first place? Are there some aspects or provisions in the fund which they object to? Do they believe that the fund does not deliver added value? If you look at the mid-term evaluation of the EGF, you will see that it delivers significant added value. Of course there are improvements which could be made, but the reintegration rate into employment is 41.8% and that is increasing in the medium term, so even from that perspective, the fund is delivering. I suppose my other question to you is: is this just an objection to social action in the first place?

My final question is about the new EGF proposal. You talked about some problems with the proposal and you mentioned farmers. Are there any other issues that are causing problems within the Council with regard to the new EGF application?

 
  
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  Marije Cornelissen, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. (NL) Mr President, the Netherlands – EUR 30 million, Sweden – EUR 14 million, Denmark – EUR 50 million, Germany – EUR 37 million. Those are the amounts that these countries have received from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund in recent years. How ironic then that these very countries, countries where the situation is relatively good, are now limiting access to the Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

When the first signs of crisis appeared, the Globalisation Adjustment Fund was extended to large businesses and industry sectors which were going bankrupt because of the crisis, with the threat of thousands of redundancies as a result. If only it were true that that extension was no longer needed, that the crisis was already behind us, and that crisis-triggered bankruptcies no longer caused mass redundancies. The opposite is true, however.

In these times of cuts, the crisis is becoming increasingly tangible in all countries. The crisis is being used as the reason for mass redundancies. I find it cruel and morally unacceptable that countries like the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden are blocking the crisis derogation. In fact, I find it incomprehensible. These countries are against the derogation because they are opposed to the fund in general. The EGF should not exist in the first place, the reasoning seems to go, so we can, therefore, give ourselves carte blanche to oppose absolutely everything to do with it, while, in the meantime, obviously making good use of it ourselves, since the Netherlands, as Ms Harkin said, raked in another EUR 8 million at the very end of 2011. The adult reasoning on this matter should, of course, be that, while this fund continues to exist, it should be used as effectively as possible. The crisis is being used as a very handy excuse.

 
  
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  Ashley Fox, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, the Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been a complete failure. Every year, the Commission takes EUR 500 million of taxpayers’ money and sprinkles it about in the vain hope of being seen to do something about job losses.

The functioning of this fund has been appalling. It is bureaucratic and inefficient with the Commission making up the rules as they go along. In 2009, we had the ridiculous situation of the Commission paying money to Ireland because Dell had relocated to Poland. That is not globalisation. That is the single market working. I wholeheartedly support the British, Czech and other governments who are blocking the extension of this absurd fund. Rather than pouring this money down the drain, we should return it to the taxpayers, who will spend it far more wisely than the European Union ever could.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto, on behalf of the EFD Group.(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the salvation of millions of unemployed Europeans does not depend on the unreliable aid offered by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). Statistics highlight the fact that the majority of the beneficiaries of the fund cannot find a new job, while the luckier ones are absorbed back into the job market with fixed-term contracts which can last as few as six months. In many cases, those who are unemployed opt out of the fund because they question its usefulness.

The EGF is not a solution and it does not prevent the disastrous consequences of a European commercial policy, which is managed dangerously and with too much flippancy by the Commission. To fight the plague of unemployment, which is now structural, Europe must rein in its excessive openness towards the markets of developing countries, whose unfair competition is the root cause of the failure of our businesses.

Until Europe stops giving succour to economic self-destruction by defending a position that is blind to global trade flows, our businesses will continue to fail. The fund can only provide temporary support, but training courses are not the way to give our unemployed comfort and security.

 
  
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  Edit Bauer (PPE).(HU) Mr President, in its 2008 Economic Recovery Plan, the Commission deemed it important to amend and render more flexible the rules governing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund as part of our efforts to overcome the crisis. Accordingly, in 2009, the Council eased access to the assets of the fund in order to address the first wave of the crisis. The guiding principles behind the Council’s introduction of derogation in 2009 were solidarity and social justice. Considering these principles, it is incomprehensible why the Council would show reluctance to extend the effect of derogation while the crisis continues to mount.

Even in my immediate surroundings, I see the bankruptcies of venerable companies like MALÉV Hungarian Airlines and the Komárom shipyards, as well as closures such as that of the Komárom plant of Nokia, which employed over 1 200 people from both sides of the country border. In light of these circumstances, we do not really see any justification for the dismissive attitude of the Council and the obstructive minority. Globalisation and crisis go hand in hand. We can see how the crisis has accelerated globalisation. As regards their consequences, these two processes are virtually identical in some regions. It is unacceptable for anyone to attempt extortion by claiming that the extension of derogation would jeopardise the future of the EGF. What I ask of the representatives of the Council is to not consider either their response or their efforts as definite.

 
  
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  Emer Costello (S&D). – Mr President, I wish to express my opposition to the removal of the crisis derogation from the Globalisation Fund and I would urge the Council to work with the minority of blocking Member States and ask them to reconsider their position and arrive at a conclusion.

In Ireland, between 2009 and 2011, 70% of the applications for the EGF Fund were crisis-related. Companies such as SR Technics, Dell, Waterford Crystal and companies from the construction industry applied and availed of this fund to upskill thousands of workers and help them find alternative employment. Just last week, we had the announcement in Ireland that 2 500 bank officials are to be made redundant in the second largest bank in Ireland, AIB. This would be the equivalent to 45 000 job losses in Germany.

We spent the morning discussing that fiscal consolidation must be accompanied by a jobs and growth strategy. If we are to do more than pay lip-service to this, we need to ensure that the crisis derogation is retained for the EGF funding. I urge the Council to ensure that this derogation is retained and that the EGF Fund can ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE). (PL) Mr President, it is worth saying quite clearly that it is thanks to the derogation we are discussing today that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has become one of the European Union’s most widely used tools to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis. In my opinion, this fund is an expression of Community-wide budgetary solidarity with workers who are made redundant. The reluctance on the part of some Member States to extend this crisis derogation surprises me very much. It amazes me even more that the citizens of those states which are currently blocking the extension of the derogation have benefited from assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. I would also like to ask the Minister how he imagines a conversation or a debate on the new regulation after 2013 in the light of this blocking minority.

Naturally, I hope that the Danish Presidency will finally be able to work out a compromise on issues relating to the fund and to persuade the Council to reconsider this issue in a positive light. Meanwhile, we would be glad to hear the specific concerns, fears and reasons why these blocking Member States do not want to extend the crisis derogation, because this is not clear, at least not to me. Perhaps there are such reasons, even compelling ones, which we are not aware of – the Minister mentioned one such reason, namely, that in some Member States, and by implication the blocking ones, there are other mechanisms to support workers made redundant. This is possible, but the question is this: why do these states nevertheless try to obtain – and succeed in doing so – funding from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. These issues were not addressed in your introductory speech and I hope that we, as Members of the European Parliament, will be informed of these shortly. Thank you very much.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Jörg Leichtfried (S&D), Blue-card question.(DE) Mr President, Ms Jędrzejewska, I listened to what you said with great interest and I would like to ask you something. Which countries are blocking the extension? How many countries are doing this and what is prompting them? I have not been able to understand fully what the reason is for blocking further funding.

 
  
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  Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE), Blue-card answer. – Your question is fully justified. This is exactly the question I am asking the Danish Presidency because the Danish Presidency is leading these talks and it must know for what reasons those countries are objecting. The list also is not a mystery; some of the countries were mentioned, but in two minutes I do not think it is my task to repeat the minutes of the Council’s meetings.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D) . – (LT) Mr President, I am very sorry that the Danish Presidency has lost heart ... (microphone not working). It is naïve to think that the crisis in the European Union ended last year and that people are consequently no longer being made redundant. Sadly, I doubt whether the crisis in the European Union will end in the next couple of years. Real life indicates otherwise. Much more time may be required for the European Union’s economic recovery. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund support mechanism has been improved with temporary measures and many more unemployed European Union citizens have been able to get support and find new jobs as a result. My country, Lithuania, has utilised EGF assistance very effectively. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is a European Union solidarity fund, solidarity-based assistance for people who have been made redundant, and therefore, while appreciating the position of the blocking Member States, it is natural to ask whether this means that the principle of solidarity will cease to exist in the European Union?

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D).(ES) Mr President, apologies, but there are things I do not understand. I do not understand this double game between the Council and the Commission when it comes to this fund. Some are blocking its continued use for the crisis, but at the same time, the same countries doing the blocking are those that continue to use it the most. Meanwhile others, namely the Commission, which seem to be defending it before the Council, are, at the same time, presenting a proposal that completely removes its reason for being.

We all know there are two ways to destroy a programme. The first is to do away with the funding completely, and the second and subtler way is to distort it little by little until the reason for its existence has gone. This is precisely what we are risking at this point in the debate.

Do our farmers need compensation for the trade agreements we have signed with third countries? Yes. However, using this fund to do so without increasing the items, without clarifying the requirements, is an attempt to deceive everyone – companies, workers and farmers. This is because, ladies and gentlemen, EUR 500 million may be insufficient to help companies that are in difficulties, but the same money for the same companies and for hundreds of thousands of farmers is simply ridiculous.

This Parliament has a clear message in that it is our desire to preserve this element of solidarity at a time when it is more important than ever.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Barbara Matera (PPE). (IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the economic crisis is not yet behind Europe; European enterprises are in serious difficulty and our workers are continuing to pay the highest price by losing their jobs. Since its creation in 2006, this fund has offered an exemplary response, helping to support the reintegration of workers into new jobs.

The Member States have said that the majority of the requests could not have been made without the economic crisis derogation, meaning that 45 000 workers would have been left out of work. The political message sent by the Council’s rejection of this decision is a strike at the very heart of the credibility and responsibility of the European institutions. I therefore appeal strongly to the Council to make unblocking the derogation one of its priorities and I would ask my fellow Members to respect those who are speaking.

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D).(PT) Mr President, the European Commission impact study, of December 2011, on the possible trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, shows us drops of 1.6% in European farmers’ incomes and of 0.4% in those incomes of persons employed in European farming.

We can also see from the report that, in addition to these average figures for the meat market, the impact will be greater in a number of Member States, with 2-3% for beef in countries like Ireland, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg. In French regions like Limousin or Auvergne, its negative impact will be as high as 3-7.5%.

Can Mr Wammen confirm the figure of EUR 7 billion for this agreement’s negative impact on European agriculture by 2020? If the figure for negative impact is EUR 7 billion, how can the Commission’s proposed response to this problem be to spend EUR 2.5 billion from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for the period 2014-2020? What do you think of all this, Mr Wammen?

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI).(DE) Mr President, since 2009, the fund has been used to help not only people who have lost their jobs as a result of globalisation, but also those who have been made unemployed as a consequence of the crisis. Measures of this kind are very useful as a short-term response. Targeted economic measures can help to prevent social injustice and emergency situations and also to support companies. However, it does not make sense to change the function of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) permanently. The derogation only provides for an increase in the EU’s contribution to around 65%. In the long term, that will be counterproductive. Appropriate cofinancing from the Member States will also guarantee that the money is used for the intended purposes. In addition, a permanently low level of involvement would reduce the responsibility taken by the Member States and the regions. However, their responsibility must be increased, in order to enable us to avoid future crises by making efficient use of funding.

 
  
 

End of the catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Nicolai Wammen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, let me start by saying that I have been impressed by the commitment of Members to debate this issue. As I started out by saying, the Danish Presidency would certainly have liked it if a solution on the EGF could have been found in the Council. That was not possible, and now we will be working on the future of the EGF. I will be looking forward to constructive cooperation with this House.

I would also like to make it very clear that the Danish Presidency, and the Council, are firmly committed to combating the crisis as we know it because, as many Members in this Chamber have made clear, the crisis is not over yet. Therefore, it is important that we continue to reform the single market and that we use the euros in the MFF as wisely as possible to make sure that growth and job creation will be on the agenda, especially for young people.

That will be the aim of the Danish Presidency and of the Commission. I will also be looking forward to working closely with Parliament on achieving this.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 149)

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing.(RO) I think that the derogation in relation to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) needs to be extended in the current climate. This instrument has proved to be useful so far in mitigating the impact of the economic crisis and preventing other social disasters. I think that it is important to adapt the fund in order to continue in this vein and guide the economy towards sustainable growth. This mechanism is needed, in particular, for workers, the victims of the crisis, who need to find a solution to their problems. We must support workers who have been made redundant in their efforts to find a new job, and the assistance provided by the EU on this score must be more dynamic so as to meet their needs.

In December, Romania applied to the European Commission for financial assistance through the EGF for employees from Nokia, which decided to move its business activities to Asia. I should mention that last September, Nokia announced the closure of its factory in Jucu and the moving of its business activities to China, even though the factory, which is near Cluj, posted a turnover in 2010 that was up more than 55% on the previous year. My country’s position is in favour of retaining this instrument with a European cofinancing rate of 65%.

 
  
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  Iosif Matula (PPE), in writing. – (RO) The economic crisis has resulted in the decline of economic activity and entailed a rise in unemployment against the background of a productivity slump and deterioration in the public finance system. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) had to be adapted in order to mitigate the impact of the current crisis. Recent forecasts indicate that there will continue to be structural changes in economic sectors which will give rise to job losses due to some companies closing down or others relocating. I would like to emphasise that many Member States have not enjoyed the benefits of the EGF so far because they have not been faced with huge closures or relocations. Due to the recent restructuring among businesses, there is the risk of redundancies becoming a frequent occurrence in the period immediately ahead. This is why I think that extending the derogation against the backdrop of the crisis is an absolute must. The importance of providing funding with the support of the EGF lies in its flexibility. By providing aid promptly to the affected workers for a limited period of time, the EGF helps reduce unemployment and enables Member States to emerge from the economic crisis en route towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

 
  
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  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE), in writing. – (RO) The extension of the crisis derogation must be maintained, at least temporarily. Relocation is undoubtedly, at least for the time being, crucial for European capital in search of areas where wages are lower. The European Union created this fund to tackle the impact of globalisation. It is a completely different discussion as to how effective it is. At the moment, however, we do not have any instrument to allow us to mitigate the impact of bankruptcy or the decline in activity due not to globalisation, but simply to the economic crisis. Initiatives relating to research and innovation and increasing competitiveness are economically correct, but their impact is only felt in the long term. Until then, Europe needs to overcome the crisis. Either a new instrument with a specific purpose or the extension of the derogation is necessary from this perspective.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: ROBERTA ANGELILLI
Vice-President

 
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