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PV 23/06/2016 - 8.6
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Thursday, 23 June 2016 - Brussels
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/012 BE/Hainaut Machinery

European Parliament resolution of 23 June 2016 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application from Belgium - EGF/2015/012 BE/Hainaut Machinery) (COM(2016)0242 – C8-0170/2016 – 2016/2074(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0242 – C8‑0170/2016),

–  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 (A8-0207/2016),

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 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 Belgium submitted application EGF/2015/012 BE/Hainaut Machinery for a financial contribution from the EGF, following redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 28 (Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.) in the NUTS level 2 region of Hainaut (BE32), and whereas 488 redundant workers, as well as 300 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 25 from the Hainaut Region, are expected to participate in the measures; whereas the redundancies were made by Carwall SA, Caterpillar Belgium SA and Doosan SA;

D.  whereas, although the application does not fulfil the eligibility criteria set out in Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation, it was submitted under the intervention criteria of Article 4(2), which allows for a derogation in respect of the number of workers made redundant;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the intervention criteria set out in Article 4(2) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Belgium is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 1 824 041 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 3 040 069;

2.  Notes that the Commission respected the deadline of 12 weeks from the receipt of the completed application from the Belgian authorities, on 11 February 2016, until finalising its assessment on the compliance with the conditions for providing a financial contribution on 4 May 2016, and notifying it to Parliament on the same day;

3.  Notes that following the serious disruptions in recent years in trade in construction machinery on the European market, the demand for the products produced by the three enterprises covered by this application has decreased accordingly;

4.  Notes that, following the announcement of Caterpillar Belgium SA on 23 February 2013 of a collective redundancy procedure in its Gosselies plant, the majority of its 1 399 workers were the subject of EGF/2014/011 BE/Caterpillar application, and points out that the current application is a follow-up to that application, as it is part of the same redundancy procedure; underlines that Hainaut is facing a difficult labour market situation with an unemployment rate of 14,5 % (5,9 % higher than the national average), 1 236 job losses in 2013 and 1 878 in 2014 in the manufacturing sector, a drop in job offers of 13 % since 2012 and a high proportion of underqualified labour, as over half of the job seekers lack upper secondary qualifications, as well as high levels of long-term unemployment, which stands at 39,0 % of the overall unemployment in the Hainaut region;

5.  Welcomes the fact that Belgian authorities started providing the personalised services to the targeted beneficiaries on 1 January 2015, well ahead of the application for EGF support;

6.  Notes that Belgium is planning the following types of measures for redundant workers covered by this application: support/guidance/integration; facilitating job-search; integrated training; support for enterprise creation; support for collective projects, job search and training allowances;

7.  Welcomes the fact that the allowances and incentives, which Belgium confirmed are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries in job-search or training activities (actions under point (b) of Article 7(1) of the EGF Regulation), are limited to less than 5 % of the total costs, which is far below the threshold of 35 % of the total cost of the package of personalised measures allowed by the EGF Regulation;

8.  Notes that workers in the 55 - 64 age group make up 35,9 % of the targeted beneficiaries; considers that workers in this group are at a higher risk of long-term unemployment and social exclusion and have specific needs when it comes to providing them with personalised approach in accordance with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation;

9.  Calls on the Commission to provide information on the results of ongoing support for the redundant workers of Caterpillar, as part of the current application is a follow-up to the EGF/2014/011 BE/Caterpillar application;

10.  Welcomes the fact that, in addition to the 488 workers dismissed, 300 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 25 from the same region are expected to participate in the measures and receive personalised services co-financed by the EGF, which shall include: mobilisation and guidance, either to further education/training or to follow induction sessions to explore interests; specific training courses; personalised upskilling; job-search, training and mobility allowances;

11.  Welcomes the extension of the access to the EGF for NEETs; notes however that the EGF Regulation currently provides that this access may only continue until 31 December 2017; calls for the revision of the EGF Regulation, in the framework of the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework, in order to enable the access of NEETs to continue after 2017;

12.  Welcomes the fact that the Belgian authorities are proposing special measures designed for NEETs and, in this way, targeting their needs more specifically;

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

14.  Welcomes the fact that the coordinated package of personalised services was established following further consultations with all stakeholders including social partners, enterprises and public employment services, who will also follow the implementation of the proposed measures through a monitoring committee;

15.  Welcomes in particular the approach of the Belgian authorities and the cooperation with social partners for granting support to collective projects for workers who consider setting up a social enterprise together as a group, as a measure with a high potential for added value;

16.  Notes that the proposed actions constitute active labour market measures within the eligible actions set out in Article 7 of the EGF Regulation and recalls that, in line with that Article, the personalised services provided are expected to anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy and take into account the experience gained so far in supporting the dismissed workers under EGF/2014/011 BE/Caterpillar application; notes, at the same time, that these actions do not substitute passive social protection measures;

17.  Calls on Member States to prepare, together with the social partners, strategies to anticipate projected labour market changes and to protect Union jobs and skills, especially when negotiating trade agreements, in order to ensure fair competition rules and common measures against economic, social and environmental dumping; recalls its call for a proper revision of the Union's trade defence instruments;

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

19.  Calls on the Commission to revise the rules on state aid in order to enable state intervention to enhance socially and environmentally beneficial projects, and to help SMEs and industries in difficulty by contributing to reconstructing their production capacities, which have been heavily hit by the global financial and economic crisis;

20.  Reiterates the call on the Commission to provide more details in future proposals on sectors that have prospects for growth, and therefore to hire people, as well as to gather substantiated data on the impact of EGF funding, including on the quality of jobs and the reintegration rate achieved through the EGF;

21.  Notes that the Belgian 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 report in order to ensure full respect for existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

22.  Notes that, to date, the manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c. sector has been the subject of 14 EGF applications, 8 of which have been based on trade related globalisation and 6 on the global financial and economic crisis;

23.  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;

24.  Appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following 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;

25.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to assure public access to all the documents related to EGF cases;

26.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

27.  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;

28.  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 Belgium - EGF/2015/012 BE/Hainaut Machinery)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2016/1145.)

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