CESI (Confédération Européenne des Syndicats Indépendants) Supports Demand for Stronger Globalisation Fund

Date

14 Sep 2011

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs
Euro & Finance

“We support the European Parliament in its demand for an own budget line for the European Globalisation Fund,” CESI vice-president Eric de Macker said on 12th September in The Hague. Dutch workers have also benefited from the fund. The European Globalisation Fund (EGF) is intended to mitigate the social consequences of mass redundancies. Retraining and the transition into new employment are financed with the aid of the EGF. On 8th September, the Commission for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) of the European Parliament argued in a resolution for a stronger EGF. Eric de Macker shares this demand: “In our view it is very reasonable, especially as we need more European soli-darity in the economic crisis, which has affected many EU states, and as the fund has previously been underused.”

The MEPs from the EMPL commission are especially campaigning for a separate budget line for the EGF. To date, the fund has been run in an ancillary budget of the EU. With the continuation in an own budget line, the EU parliament also wants to im-plement a significantly simpler and quicker application process. “The fund will also be urgently needed in the coming years,” says CESI vice-president de Macker. In the crisis, it is important to have effective instruments for a European social policy. “In Europe, we need not only better co-ordination of economic policies but also market corrections that go beyond mere symbolic politics,” de Macker states. “People who work in large, transnational companies in the EU have long known that we need to organise solidarity more efficiently across borders. The parliament is on the right track here. The governments still need to learn though,” the unionist says regarding the attitude in the Council of Ministers, which seems not to view the EGF as a per-manent instrument.

The EGF was established in 2007 in order to counter the negative social effects of globalisation. Up to 500 million Euros are available in the current financial period (2007 – 2013) for labour market policy measures needed as a result of globalisation. Since a simplification in 2009, the co-financing has stipulated that 35 percent of the costs must be covered by the applicants. It was previously a 50 percent share. As a result, the resources were hardly used. However, the volume of applications in 2010 trebled after the simplification, as the EU commission reported at the end of August. In the past year, 23,700 employees from nine EU states have been supported with a total of 83.5 million Euros. Since 2007, aid totalling around 355 million Euros has been provided for 76,000 employees. The CESI argues in favour of further improve-ment of the EGF rules, as demanded by the European Parliament, and for the EGF to be permanently secured.