Renew Europe welcomes the revised European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers — allowing more European workers to receive financial support
by Linda Aziz-Rohlje
It will soon be easier for citizens who have lost their jobs to get help in finding a new job or setting up their own business. On Wednesday the European Parliament approved the revised European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers (EGF), which will allow more European workers to receive financial support.
“ As Renew Europe rapporteur, I welcome the Plenary adoption of the report, which sends a clear message of European solidarity to all displaced workers, especially in these very difficult times. We have sought to deliver the added value that citizens expect from the EU with a new EGF fit for responding to all the crises and the transitions’ consequences”, says Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Member of the European Parliament who has represented Renew Europe in the negotiations.
The EGF was established in 2006 and is a concrete expression of European solidarity. The programme is part of the Multiannual Financial Framework stretching from 2021 until 2027, and will get a budgetary boost from 170 million euros per year to an annual average of 186 million euros.
“ The EGF fund is one of the most important tools of the European Union. It is the one that is often more closely felt by the citizens who having been made redundant are in a transitional and often vulnerable stage of their lives. We must work hard to ensure that access and opportunity is constantly created with its aid for Europeans to have a better life. This most recent change is vital for the flexibility of the European labour markets and I am glad to see that Renew Europe was at the forefront of the reform, as always”, says Dragos Pislaru, Member of the European Parliament and Coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee.
Renew Europe has actively pushed for the budgetary boost, tailor-made and inclusive accompanying measures, such as a mandatory digital skills training and a childcare allowance to help job-seekers, especially women, to have access to re-skilling and up-skilling trainings. Renew Europe has also strongly defended increased support for entrepreneurship and the creation of new business start-ups for interested redundant workers.
The Fund has being redesigned and renamed as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers. This may seem cosmetic, but it is essential to place the emphasis on support for displaced workers which is the sole purpose of the Fund and to show that Europe is at the forefront of standing by those who are the collateral victims of crises and the twin transitions. Despite Council’s reluctance, the Parliament, with a strong support from Renew Europe, has also succeeded in ensuring greater visibility for the Fund with a communication obligation for the Member States. While all too often European action flies under the radar, it was essential to remind people that it is Europe that stands by the workers made redundant.
Currently, the fund is only available for workers made redundant due to causes linked to globalisation or global financial and economic crises. However, the new rules are including workers who lost their jobs due to any unexpected major restructuring events. It also lowers the threshold to mobilise the fund, from 500 displaced workers in a company or sector to 200, something Renew Europe has been fighting hard for.
“The European Globalisation Fund for displaced workers is now maturing and truly becoming an instrument of European solidarity for workers who have lost their jobs. It is a key instrument of a strong social Europe based on solidarity that already exists but that needs to be more reactive and more visible. Brexit, COVID-19, the automation of production chains, the greening of our economies and so on, are not without impact on the labour market and on the workforce. With this revision of the EGF, we are showing that Europe is up to the challenge and will stand by the workers who are hardest hit”, says MEP Vedrenne.