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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 - Strasbourg
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2016/003 EE/petroleum and chemicals

European Parliament resolution of 26 October 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 Estonia – EGF/2016/003 EE/petroleum and chemicals) (COM(2016)0622 – C8-0389/2016 – 2016/2235(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0622 – C8‑0389/2016),

–  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 (A8-0314/2016),

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 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 Estonia submitted application EGF/2016/003 EE/petroleum and chemicals for a financial contribution from the EGF following redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 19 (Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products) and Division 20 (Manufacture of chemicals and chemicals products); whereas Estonia is not divided into NUTS-level 2 regions and whereas 800 out of 1 550 redundant workers eligible for the EGF contribution are expected to participate in the measures;

E.  whereas the application was submitted under the intervention of Article 4(2) of the EGF Regulation derogating from the criteria set out in point (b) of Article 4(1) of that Regulation, which requires that at least 500 workers be made redundant over a reference period of nine months in enterprises operating in the same economic sector defined at NACE Revision 2 Division and located in one region or two contiguous regions defined at NUTS 2 level in a Member State;

F.  whereas in the face of the recent turbulence in the global oil market, the general decrease in Europe’s international trade position for fertilisers (to the benefit of China’s producers) and low-cost gas regions outside Europe, Eesti Energia AS, Nitrofert AS and Viru Keemia Grupp AS have closed down plants or reduced production resulting in the collective termination of work contracts;

G.  whereas Estonia decided to combine the redundancies in one regional application as the redundancies happened at the same place, during the same timeframe and involved redundant workers with very similar backgrounds;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(2) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Estonia is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 1 131 358 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 1 885 597 for personalised services consisting of support for formal studies, payment of the cost of training, training cost reimbursement for employers, labour market training, work practice, debt counselling, psychological counselling, study allowances relating to participation in formal studies, scholarships, transport and accommodation benefits for Estonian language training;

2.  Welcomes the very first EGF application tabled by Estonia; believes that the EGF could be a particularly valuable tool to help workers from countries with small economies and more vulnerable Union economies;

3.  Notes that the Commission respected the deadline of 12 weeks from receipt of the completed application from the Estonian authorities, on 6 July 2016, until finalising its assessment on compliance with the conditions for providing a financial contribution, on 28 September 2016, and notified it to Parliament on the same day;

4.  Notes that the Union gradually lost its top position in world chemicals sales to China, which increased its share from 9 % to almost 35 % in the same timeframe; recalls that the production of mineral fertilisers is highly energy intensive (gas prices make up to 80 % of total production costs); notes that due to falling oil prices, Estonian exports of mineral fuels decreased by 25 % during the first two months of 2016 compared to the same period a year earlier; notes that a high concentration of industries in Estonia are dependent on oil and gas prices;

5.  Points out that the impact of the redundancies on the local and regional economy and employment is expected to be significant;

6.  Welcomes Estonia’s decision to combine two economic sectors in one regional application, as the redundancies happened in the same region, as this will reduce the administrative burden and make it possible to organise joint measures for workers made redundant in both sectors;

7.  Welcomes the fact that a regional development strategy has been designed, which is outlined in the Ida-Virumaa Action Plan for 2015-2020(4), with logistics and tourism identified as potential growth sectors; acknowledges the fact that infrastructure projects have been launched in order to boost growth and to form a base for diversifying the economic structure;

8.  Notes that the relatively low number of redundant workers expected to participate in the measures (800 out of 1 550) can be explained by the desire to target the most vulnerable workers on the job market and also the fact that some workers had declared that they were not available to participate in the measures foreseen by Estonia; notes the relatively high percentage of non-Union citizens (63,3 %) as targeted beneficiaries;

9.  Notes that the EGF co-funded personalised services for the redundant workers include payment of the cost of formal studies, training cost reimbursement for employers, labour market training, Estonian language training, work practice and counselling; takes note that Estonia has provided the required information on actions that are mandatory for the enterprise concerned by virtue of national law or pursuant to collective agreements and has confirmed that a financial contribution from the EGF will not replace such actions;

10.  Notes that Estonia further declares that the coordinated package of measures is compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy and shows great potential to facilitate it, which is in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation;

11.  Welcomes the consultations with stakeholders, including trade unions, employers’ associations, enterprises and public employment services, that took place at the national and regional level to draw up the co-ordinated package of personalised services;

12.  Notes that actions under Article 7(4) of the EGF Regulation, namely preparatory activities, management, information and publicity and control and reporting, represent a rather high share of the total costs (7,7 %);

13.  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;

14.  Notes that the income support measures will constitute 27,25 % of the overall package of personalised measures, below the 35 % maximum set out in the EGF Regulation; further notes that those measures are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries in job-search or training activities;

15.  Notes that the costs of technical assistance account for a relatively high percentage of the total costs; considers this to be justified in view of this being Estonia’s first EGF application;

16.  Notes that Estonia confirms 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;

17.  Notes that these actions were drafted in line with the identified needs in the regional development strategy in Estonia and are compatible with the shift towards a resource efficient and sustainable economy;

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

19.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

20.  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;

21.  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 (following an application from Estonia – EGF/2016/003 EE/petroleum and chemicals)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2016/2099.)

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