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Tuesday, 10 March 2015 - Strasbourg
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund - application EGF/2014/014 DE/Aleo Solar - Germany

European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2015 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/2014/014 DE/Aleo Solar, from Germany) (COM(2014)0726 – C8-0012/2015 – 2015/2018(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0726 – C8‑0012/2015),

–  having regard to 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(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 (A8-0030/2015),

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 to 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 the EGF Regulation 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 the 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 Germany submitted application EGF/2014/014 DE/Aleo Solar for a financial contribution from the EGF, following 657 redundancies, 390 from Aleo Solar AG, a company operating in the NACE 2 Division 26 'Manufacturing of computer, electronic and optical products', and 267 from its two subsidiaries, with 476 persons expected to participate in the measures, during and after the reference period from 7 March 2014 to 7 July 2014, linked to a decline in the Union's market share in solar module companies;

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down in the EGF Regulation;

1.  Notes that the conditions set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met, therefore agrees with the Commission that Germany is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

2.  Notes that the German authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 29 July 2014, supplemented it by additional information up to 23 September 2014 and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 16 December 2014;

3.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the German authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 11 April 2014, well ahead of the decision and even the application on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

4.  Considers that the redundancies in Aleo Solar AG are linked to major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, with the revenue share of China increasing from 11 % to 45 %, while that of Germany fell from 64 % to 21 % between 2005 and 2011; notes that due to huge Chinese overcapacities in solar modules, which neither its own consumers nor the world market can absorb, EU prices dropped by 40 % in 2011 compared to 2010 and thus below the production costs of Aleo Solar AG; notes that in 2013, the EU approved additional duties on solar modules originating in China, and a minimum price which is still, however, below the production costs of German producers;

5.  Notes that in 2010 Aleo Solar AG had a turnover of EUR 550 million and a profit of EUR 43 million and that this declined rapidly from 2011 and by 2013 had reached losses of EUR 92 million; stresses that various efforts to restructure and improve efficiency have been made, but that, unfortunately, it has not managed to return to profitability;

6.  Notes that this is the second EGF application with regard to the solar module manufacturing with several more to come;

7.   Notes that the redundancies at Aleo Solar AG are expected to have a negative impact on the Prenzlau/Brandenburg region, where per capita income is well below the national average and the unemployment rate the highest in Germany with 15,5 % and 16,4 % respectively; highlights that the inclusion of the redundancies from Aleo Solar AG would increase this rate by 0,9 %; regrets that there is no immediate prospect of the redundant workers finding any equivalent new jobs, due to a relatively low population density and lack of potential employers: the area has mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, and only 10 enterprises (0,3%) have more than 249 workers (Aleo Solar AG was one of these major employers);

8.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services to be co-funded includes the following measures for the reintegration of 476 redundant workers into employment: vocational training, careers advice and guidance, peer groups/workshops, entrepreneurship advice, inter-regional advice for mobility, job search by a professional job searcher, follow-up mentoring for workers who have found a new job but might need advice to secure this job or because it involves resettling, a training allowance of 60 % of the worker's previous net income in line with Article 7(1)(b) of the EGF Regulation;

9.  Notes that the authorities plan to utilise the maximum allowed 35 % of all costs on allowances and incentives in the form of training allowances (Transferkurzarbeitergeld) constituting 60 % or 67 % of a worker's previous net income – depending on the household situation of the beneficiary – which is in line with the practice where workers become unemployed in Germany; notes that the training allowance is not a substitute for passive social protection measures and is tied to strict conditions to undertake the training and other activities that have been organised;

10.  Welcomes the fact that the co-ordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the representatives of the targeted beneficiaries, taking into consideration the potential of the area and the business environment;

11.  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;

12.  Notes that 164 of the Aleo Solar AG workers made redundant in Prenzlau were rehired by an Asian consortium, which bought the plant from the liquidator; notes that the reasoning of the German authorities for enabling these workers to benefit from the measures to be funded by the EGF is that the security of their new employment was not certain at that time;

13.  Notes that the 104 workers made redundant in the administrative centre in Oldenburg are not included in the measures to be funded by the EGF; notes that the employment situation in this region is much more promising;

14.  Regrets that the risk of long-term unemployment for the redundant workers is high and stresses therefore the importance of measures encouraging workers to look beyond the immediate area and take up job offers which can be found in other regions;

15.  Considers that workers in the 55-64 and 15-29 age groups are at a higher risk of prolonged unemployment and exclusion from the labour market; considers therefore that these workers have specific needs when it comes to providing them with personalised approach;

16.  Recalls that in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy;

17.  Stresses 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 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.



on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application EGF/2014/014 DE/Aleo Solar, from Germany)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/473.)

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