The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, increased to help more redundant workers in the EU.

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The Plenary voted today in favour of increasing the budget of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), a special funding instrument aimed at expressing solidarity with, and improving the skills and employability of workers who lose their jobs. The Commission proposed an increased total budget of almost €1.6 billion in current prices for the new 2021–2027 period, on average €225 million per year, compared to €170 million per year today.

ALDE backed the continuation of the Fund to support upskilling, retraining and the promotion of entrepreneurship of redundant workers in the EU so more workers can now access the fund and be assisted back into employment. The new scope has been substantially expanded to include redundancies as a result of automisation, digitalisation and the transition to a low carbon economy making the Fund more reactive to the realities of the changing world of work.

Also with the new EGF, workers in regions which have been particularly impacted by restructuring across various sectors will be covered, workers in small and large Member States alike will have the same access to the fund and that redundant workers in SMEs will benefit on an equal footing with redundant workers in larger enterprises. ALDE also successfully proposed an increase of €5,000 per worker to the investments for self-employment, starting an own business, or for employee take-overs making it a maximum of EUR 25 000 per redundant worker.

MEP Marian Harkin, ALDE shadow rapporteur on this file said:

“This fund is a timely and effective response from the EU which will assist many workers to return to employment or to start their own business following redundancy. The assistance offered is real and practical and tailor made to address the needs of each individual worker. I want to thank my colleagues for supporting two crucial amendments from ALDE that specifically expand the scope of the fund to include redundancies as a result of the Brexit.”

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