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Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - Strasbourg
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2018/001 NL/Financial service activities

European Parliament resolution of 2 October 2018 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 the Netherlands – EGF/2018/001 NL/Financial service activities) (COM(2018)0548 – C8-0392/2018 – 2018/2220(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0548 – C8‑0392/2018),

–  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 (A8-0294/2018),

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;

C.  whereas the Netherlands submitted application EGF/2018/001 NL/Financial service activities for a financial contribution from the EGF, following 1 324 redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 64 (Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding) in the NUTS level 2 regions of NL 12 - Friesland, NL 13 - Drenthe and NL 21 - Overijssel in the Netherlands, the first application in this economic sector since the establishment of the EGF;

D.  whereas the application is based on the intervention criteria of point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation, which requires at least 500 workers being 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;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation are met and that the Netherlands is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 1 192 500 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 1 987 500;

2.  Notes that the Dutch authorities submitted the application on 23 February 2018, and that, following the provision of additional information by the Netherlands, the Commission finalised its assessment on 20 July 2018 and notified it to Parliament on 20 August 2018;

3.  Notes that the Netherlands argues that the redundancies are linked to the global financial and economic crisis and its impact on the services and functioning of the Dutch banks; acknowledges that the low interest rate environment introduced as a response to the financial crisis, the stricter regulatory conditions, the substantial decline in the mortgage market and in the credit provision for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) caused falling profitability and created an urgent need for reduction of costs; regrets that as a result the banks reduced their staff, mainly by closing regional branch offices and transforming towards online banking;

4.  Acknowledges that, although there has been some recovery in recent years, lending in the mortgage market remains lower than before the financial crisis;

5.  Regrets that the financial sectors in other Member States face similar pressures; acknowledges that, in some cases, the redundancies may be spread over too long a period to meet the EGF criteria; invites, nevertheless, the governments of Member States to consider whether the EGF might play a useful role in enabling employees to adjust to these changes;

6.  Recalls that the redundancies that occurred in 20 enterprises operating in the Dutch banking sector are expected to have a significant adverse effect on the local economy, that unemployment in the three provinces covered by the application (Friesland, Drenthe and Overijssel) is higher than the national average, and that the impact of the layoffs is linked to the difficulties of redeployment due to the scarcity of jobs, to the low educational background of the dismissed workers, and to the high number of job seekers;

7.  Notes that the application relates to 1 324 workers made redundant; questions, however, why only 450 of them will be targeted by the proposed measures; points to the fact that the majority of the redundant workers are women (59 %) who are part of the administrative personnel or receptionists; further notes that 27 % of the redundant workers are over 55 years old; acknowledges, in view of this, the importance of active labour market measures co-funded by the EGF for improving the chances of reintegration in the labour market of these vulnerable groups;

8.  Welcomes the decision of the Netherlands to target assistance on vulnerable groups and to help people changing profession, sector or region, including training for the retail sector and for new occupational profiles, such as transport, IT services and technical professions, which offer greater job opportunities;

9.  Notes that the Netherlands is planning seven types of actions for the redundant workers covered by this application: (i) intake, (ii) job search assistance, (iii) mobility pool, (iv) entrepreneurship promotion training and coaching, (v) training and re-training, (vi) outplacement assistance, (vii) entrepreneurship promotion grant;

10.  Notes that the mobility pool accounts for almost 30% of the total package of personalised services; understands that this involves coaching for people who would otherwise have difficulty in finding employment;

11.  Acknowledges that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with stakeholders and social partners such as the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), the Dutch Federation for Trade Unions (FNV) and the National Christian Trade Union Federation (CNV);

12.  Stresses that the Dutch authorities have confirmed that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union funds or financial instruments;

13.  Reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies, by virtue of national law or collective agreements, or measures for restructuring companies or sectors;

14.  Calls on the Commission to urge national authorities to provide more details, in future proposals, on the sectors which have growth prospects and are therefore likely 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 the EGF;

15.  Recalls 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;

16.  Recalls its appeal to the Commission to ensure public access to all the documents related to EGF cases;

17.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

18.  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;

19.  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 the Netherlands – EGF/2018/001 NL/Financial service activities

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2018/1675.)

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