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PV 13/04/2016 - 11.1
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Wednesday, 13 April 2016 - Strasbourg
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/009 SE/Volvo Trucks

European Parliament resolution of 13 April 2016 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application from Sweden – EGF/2015/009 SE/Volvo Trucks) (COM(2016)0061 – C8-0033/2016 – 2016/2022(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0061 – C8‑0033/2016),

–  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 (A8-0077/2016),

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 order to facilitate the redeployment and reinsertion of workers made redundant, 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 Sweden submitted application EGF/2015/009 SE/Volvo Trucks for a financial contribution from the EGF, following redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 29 (Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and downstream producers) mainly in the NUTS level 2 region of Upper Norrland (SE33), and whereas 500 out of 647 redundant workers eligible for the EGF contribution are expected to participate in the measures; whereas 470 of those workers were made redundant in Volvo Group Truck Operation EMEA following reductions in its Umeå plant, and 177 others in 4 suppliers and downstream producers (IL Logistics AB, Lemia, Caverion and Isringhausen);

E.  whereas the application was submitted under the intervention criteria of Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation, which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant over a reference period of four months in an enterprise in a Member State, including workers made redundant by suppliers and downstream producers and / or self-employed persons whose activity has ceased;

F.  whereas the financial control of the actions supported by the EGF is the responsibility of the Member State, as laid down in Article 21(1) of the EGF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Sweden is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 1 793 710 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 2 989 518;

2.  Notes that the Swedish authorities submitted the application for a financial contribution from the EGF on 16 September 2015, and that its assessment was finalised by the Commission on 16 February 2016 and notified to Parliament that day;

3.  Expresses its regret that the Commission was unable to comply with the deadline for the completion of the assessment of this application due to an exceptional shortage of staff; recalls that in the interest of the beneficiaries, assistance should be made available as quickly and efficiently as possible; calls on Member States and the Union institutions involved in the EGF decision-making process to do their utmost to reduce processing time and to simplify procedures so as to ensure the smooth and rapid adoption of decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF;

4.  Notes that the manufacture of commercial vehicles is no longer dominated by European and North American manufacturers, due to newly emerging Asian truck manufacturers; points out that the heavy truck production in the Union decreased in 2014, as well as exports of heavy commercial vehicles, buses and coaches (a decrease of EUR 6,3 billion, or -11 %) while overall imports of commercial vehicles into the Union increased (+10 %); notes that the truck industry has found it difficult to embrace major transformation and the need to adjust while becoming ever more global; notes that the Swedish authorities argue that the partial relocation of the Volvo Umeå plant is driven by the need to increase efficiency and decrease cost to meet existing and expected global competition, as part of Volvo´s optimisation program;

5.  Points out that the redundancies represent a challenge in the region of the county of Västerbotten (of which Umeå is the capital) as the region's job vacancies are in highly qualified fields while most of the targeted workers have only secondary education; notes that the application refers to a recent report claiming that 40 000 new workers will be needed in the Västerbotten region; welcomes the measures targeting workers who need specialised education;

6.  Calls on the Member States to prepare, together with the social partners, strategies to anticipate the projected labour market changes and to protect Union jobs and skills on the basis of comprehensive trade impact assessments made by the Commission for each trade agreement;

7.  Notes that young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) are not included in the application, because this region is not eligible for such intervention under the Youth Employment Initiative;

8.  Welcomes the fact that the Swedish authorities started providing the personalised services to the affected workers on 30 January 2015, well ahead of the decision on the granting of EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

9.  Notes that Sweden is planning nine types of measures for redundant workers covered by this application: (i) in-depth assessment and individual planning, (ii) various job-search activities and coaching, (iii) motivation and health measures, (iv) entrepreneurship and business creation; (v) education and training, (vi) validation of competences, (vii) job-search assistance with private service providers, (viii) travel expenses and related costs, (ix) job search allowances;

10.  Welcomes the measures targeting motivation and health of the workers; considers such actions necessary to strengthen motivation and provide help for those whose health was damaged by being made redundant; appreciates, furthermore, measures for the validation of competences of the participants;

11.  Notes the high amount to be spent on allowances and incentives; notes also that the funding of these actions is limited to a maximum amount of 35 % of the total costs for the coordinated package of personalised measures, as set out in the EGF Regulation, and that those actions are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries in job-search or training activities;

12.  Awaits the answer from the Commission confirming that the proposed job search allowance is not a substitute for the obligation of the Member State with regard to active labour market or social protection measures; expects, furthermore, an analysis of the complementarity of the measures supported by the EGF;

13.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the targeted beneficiaries and their representatives as well as local public actors;

14.  Reminds 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;

15.  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 and the prospective future of professional sectors;

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

17.  Notes that the Swedish authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments; reiterates its call on 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;

18.  Notes that, to date, the Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers sector has been the subject of 22 EGF applications, including this one, 12 of which were based on trade related globalisation and 10 on the global financial and economic crisis;

19.  Calls on the Commission to carefully assess cases where EGF funding is requested for redundancies resulting from delocalisation strategies of enterprises and ensure that these enterprises fully complied with mandatory responsibilities towards the redundant workers, by virtue of national law or pursuant to collective agreements and that EGF is used as a complimentary measure;

20.  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 for restructuring companies or sectors;

21.  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;

22.  Reminds the Commission of its responsibility and obligation to provide in due time detailed information confirming that the proposed job search allowance does not substitute the obligation of the Member State with regard to active labour market or social protection measures and a detailed analysis showing the complementarity of these EGF measures;

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

24.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

25.  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;

26.  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 from Sweden – EGF/2015/009 SE/Volvo Trucks)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2016/618.)

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