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PV 23/10/2012 - 13.16
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012 - Strasbourg
European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: Application EGF/2011/021 NL/Zalco

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/2011/021 NL/Zalco from the Netherlands) (COM(2012)0450 – C7-0220/2012 – 2012/2164(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0450 – C7-0220/2012),

–  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 (A7-0324/2012),

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 the Netherlands has requested assistance for 616 redundancies, all of which are targeted for assistance, of which 478 redundancies are in Zalco Aluminium Zeeland Company NV, 18 redundancies in its supplier ECL Services Netherlands bv and 120 in Start during the short reference period from 1 to 27 December 2011,

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, the Netherlands is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

2.  Welcomes this call for the EGF financial contribution by the Dutch Government even though this Member State has opposed the extension of the crisis derogation for the current EGF and jeopardises the future of the EGF after 2013;

3.  Notes that the Dutch authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 28 December 2011 and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 9 August 2012; regrets the lengthy evaluation period;

4.  Notes that the territory concerned by the redundancies is within the NUTS II region of Zeeland, a province in the southwest of the Netherlands; Zeeland can be regarded as a small labour market: its peripheral location within the Netherlands, its situation as a border region with huge areas under water, and the relative vastness of Zeeland with its island structure, results in rather limited access and mobility; the dismissed workers live in relatively small towns (up to about 50 000 inhabitants), so that the redundancies will have a noticeable local impact;

5.  Notes that the Court in Middelburg has pronounced Zalco Aluminium Zeeland Company NV as bankrupt on 13 December 2011; social partners expect that other workers in upstream or downstream companies may be dismissed as a direct result of the Zalco Aluminium Zeeland Company NV bankruptcy;

6.  Welcomes the fact that in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Dutch authorities decided to start the implementation of the measures on 2 January 2012 well ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

7.  Notes that the redundancies will have a noticeable impact on local communities and the number of open positions compared to the number of unemployed; regrets that the application does not provide any statistical data about the labour market concerned;

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 not only to the needs of the dismissed workers, but also to the actual business environment;

9.  Welcomes the fact that the relevant social partners and local municipalities were consulted on the application for the EGF assistance;

10.  Welcomes the involvement of the social partners in the design of the coordinated package via the Mobility Center Zalco, a collective initiative of the parties involved in the Zeeland labour market;

11.  Welcomes the fact that the EGF contribution is planned to support solely active labour measures (training and counselling) and will not be used for allowances;

12.  Highlights the fact that lessons should be learned from the preparation and implementation of this and other applications addressing mass dismissals;

13.  Regrets that the information on the training measures does not describe in which sectors the workers are likely to find employment and if the package has been adapted to the future economic prospects in the region;

14.  Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary 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 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 EGF (2014–2020) and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility 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 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 that it 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/2011/021 NL/Zalco from the Netherlands)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/684/EU.)

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