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Tuesday, 15 December 2015 - Strasbourg Final edition
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application from Finland - EGF/2015/005 FI/Computer Programming

European Parliament resolution of 15 December 2015 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on 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/2015/005 - FI/Computer Programming, from Finland) (COM(2015)0553 – C8-0332/2015 – 2015/2298(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0553 – C8‑0332/2015),

–  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 (A8-0362/2015),

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 or of the global financial and economic crisis 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 set the 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 Finland submitted application EGF/2015/005 FI/Computer Programming for a financial contribution from the EGF following 1 603 redundancies in 69 enterprises operating in the NACE Rev. 2 division 62 ('Computer programming, consultancy and related activities')(4) in several NUTS level 2 regions covering the whole of Finland, and whereas an estimated 1 200 redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures;

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set down by the EGF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Finland is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 2 623 200 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 4 372 000 for the 1 603 workers made redundant;

2.  Notes that the Finnish authorities submitted the application for a financial contribution from the EGF on 12 June 2015, and that its assessment was finalised by the Commission on 6 November 2015 and notified to Parliament that day; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

3.  Notes that in recent years the distribution of ICT sector employment between the Union and other economies has developed to the detriment of the Union and underlines that while in 2008, the technology industry employed a total of 326 000 people in Finland, the number of people employed by such companies in 2014 was 276 000, which corresponds to an average decline per year of about 3 % (10 000 workers); points out that the events giving rise to these redundancies are the developments affecting Nokia in recent years, which have had a major impact on the ICT sector in Finland; whereas developing and designing operating systems for Nokia mobile phones used to employ thousands of Finnish people and these functions have now been transferred to countries outside Europe; points out that these redundancies will further aggravate the unemployment situation in the ICT sector in regions struggling with a high unemployment rate;

4.  Notes that redundancies in the ICT sector are affecting particularly the Oulu region in Northern Ostrobothnia where ICT sector has been a mainstay of the economy for years; regrets that in spring 2015, there were approximately 1 500 unemployed jobseekers in the ICT sector in Northern Ostrobothnia and that in many cases unemployment has become prolonged as one third of unemployed people with a higher education degree have been without work for more than a year;

5.  Notes that, to date, the NACE Revision 2 Division 62 ('Computer programming, consultancy and related activities') has been the subject of one other EGF application which was based on the global financial and economic crisis(5); notes that while the volume of this domain has been increasing globally, it has dropped in Europe as businesses and services are moved to China, India, Taiwan and other non-European destinations;

6.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Finnish authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 August 2014, well ahead of the decision on the granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package and that, therefore, those services that have already started to be provided will be eligible for EGF support;

7.  Notes that Finland is planning seven types of measures for redundant workers covered by this application: (i) coaching measures and other preparatory measures, (ii) employment and business services, (iii) training, (iv) pay subsidies, (v) start-up grants, (vi) steering towards entrepreneurship and services for new entrepreneurs, and (vii) allowances for travel, overnight and removal costs;

8.  Welcomes the measures supporting entrepreneurship, in the form of start-up grants and measures steering towards entrepreneurship and services for new entrepreneurs; considers that these measures will be more useful if they are provided in combination to the participants;

9.  Welcomes in particular the proposed measures which aim at creating new businesses and which will foster entrepreneurship and services for new entrepreneurs;

10.  Points out that a pay subsidy should preferably be provided to the dismissed workers only when the jobs offered to the participants comply with the adequate quality requirements in terms of skill level and duration of contract; advocates for emphasis to be put on matching the jobseeker's expertise with the subsidised position, when deciding about awarding pay subsidy and determining the percentage of the payroll costs to be covered by it;

11.  Welcomes that the Finnish authorities propose a large variety of measures to the dismissed workers;

12.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with social partners and regional authorities;

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

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.  Recalls that the purpose of the funded measures should be to improve jobseekers' opportunities so that they can later be employed on the labour market;

16.  Notes that the authorities estimate that 18,31 % of the costs will be used for allowances and incentives, which remains much below the maximum allowed 35 % of all costs;

17.  Asks the Commission to further detail, in future proposals, the sectors in which the workers are likely to find employment and if the training on offer is aligned to the future economic prospects and labour market needs in the regions concerned by the dismissals;

18.  Expects the Commission to oversee and evaluate the use of the money granted and to use this information in future applications to further direct the use of EGF to align it with ideas of performance based budgeting;

19.  Notes that the Finnish 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 for existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

20.  Appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following the Parliament's request for the accelerated release of grants; notes the time pressure that the new timetable implies and the potential impact on the effectiveness of case instruction;

21.  Asks the Commission to assure public access to all the documents related to EGF cases;

22.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

23.  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;

24.  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.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(5)EGF/2011/016 IT/Agile (COM(2013)0120).



on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

(application from Finland – EGF/2015/005 FI/Computer Programming)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/2457.)

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