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PV 26/05/2016 - 6.3
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Thursday, 26 May 2016 - Brussels
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/011 GR/Supermarket Larissa

European Parliament resolution of 26 May 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 Greece – EGF/2015/011 GR/Supermarket Larissa) (COM(2016)0210 – C8-0149/2016 – 2016/2050(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0210 – C8‑0149/2016),

–  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 five previous EGF applications related to the retail sector,

–  having regard to its 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 (EGF/2016/000 TA 2016 – Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission)(4),

–  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 (A8-0181/2016),

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; whereas the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) benefits workers who have been dismissed from small and medium-sized enterprises and multinationals, regardless of the policies or interests which motivated the closure decision, in particular of the latter ones; whereas the EGF Regulation and Union trade policy should further focus on how to safeguard jobs, production and know-how within the Union;

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers in need 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 EGF;

C.  whereas Greece submitted application EGF/2015/011 GR/Supermarket Larissa for a financial contribution from the EGF, following dismissals in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 47 (retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles) in the NUTS level 2 regions of Central Macedonia (Κεντρική Μακεδονία) (EL12) and Thessalia (Θεσσαλία) (EL14), and whereas 557 dismissed workers, as well as 543 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30 from the same regions are expected to participate in the measures; whereas the workers were dismissed following the bankruptcy and closure of Supermarket Larissa ABEE;

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

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in point (a) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Greece is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 6 468 000 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 10 780 000;

2.  Notes that the financial contribution will target 557 workers made redundant, of which 194 are men and 363 are women;

3.  Recalls that another 543 young people under the age of 30 who are not in employment, education or training in the same region might be provided with personalised services such as occupational guidance under the Youth Employment Initiative;

4.  Notes that the Commission respected the deadline of 12 weeks from the receipt of the application from the Greek authorities, on 26 November 2015, until finalising its assessment on the compliance with the conditions for providing a financial contribution, on 14 April 2016 and notified it to Parliament on 15 April 2016;

5.  Notes that in addition to the 557 workers dismissed, 543 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30 from the same regions are expected to participate in the measures and receive personalised services co-financed by the EGF; notes that the request of the Greek authorities to include NEETs in these measures is due to the lack of jobs in the region compared with the high number of job seekers, 73,5% of unemployed persons being unemployed for more than 12 months in Thessalia (Eurostat);

6.  Notes that, as a consequence of the deep recession of the Greek economy followed by a decline in household consumption and purchasing power, the volumes of retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco were more than 30 % lower in 2015 than the early-crisis volumes of 2008; notes that the sales of Supermarket Larissa followed the same downwards trend ;

7.  Notes, therefore, that Supermarket Larissa, a cooperative of small grocery stores founded in 1986, with 42 shops and 600 workers, could not overcome its losses and had to close its shops during the second quarter of 2014; points out that this was not prevented by the austerity measures, in particular wage cuts (-30 %), the renegotiation of leases and the putting off of the maturity date of bills; notes that this situation is also due to the drastic reduction in loans to enterprises, in a context where quantitative easing by the European Central Bank failed to kickstart loans; notes that this case is a dramatic result of the continuous pressure by creditors on Greece and of European austerity policy;

8.  Welcomes the fact that the Greek authorities started providing the personalised services to the affected workers on 26 February 2016, ahead of the decision on the granting of EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

9.  Notes that the income-support measures will be strictly limited to a maximum amount of 35 % of the overall 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;

10.  Notes that although the cooperative applied some austerity measures such as wage cuts, renegotiation of the leases, putting off the maturity date of bills, proposing cheaper products and reducing operation costs it had to start closing its shops one after another;

11.  Notes that the measures planned by Greece for the dismissed workers and for the NEETs comprise the following categories: occupational guidance; training, retraining and vocational training; contribution to business start-up; participation allowance and training allowance; mobility allowance;

12.  Notes the rather high amount (EUR 15 000) to be received, as part of personalised services, by the workers or NEETs who will set up their own business; notes, at the same time, that a large number of the redundant workers have an entrepreneurial background which increases their chances of success in this sector;

13.  Notes the possibility that some of the new businesses will take the form of social cooperatives and welcomes, in this context, the efforts of the Greek authorities to enhance the social economy sector in Greece;

14.  Notes the importance of launching an information campaign in order to reach the NEETs who could be eligible under these measures; recalls its position on the need to help the NEETs in a permanent and sustainable way;

15.  Welcomes the fact that the coordinated package of personalised services was established through further consultations with representatives of the beneficiaries and social partners;

16.  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;

17.  Highlights the need to improve the employability of all workers by means of adapted training and expects that the training offered in the coordinated package will meet both needs of the workers and the business environment;

18.  Calls on the Commission to provide more details in future proposals on the sectors which have the potential to grow, and therefore to hire people, as well as to gather substantiated data on the impact of the EGF funding, including on the quality of jobs and the reintegration rate achieved through EGF;

19.  Notes that the Greek authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments;

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.  Recalls its appeal to 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) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0112.



on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

(application from Greece – EGF/2015/011 GR/Supermarket Larissa)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2016/990.)

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