Workers in Denmark, Finland and Germany who lost their jobs received a boost from the European Parliament’s Budgets Committee this week. MEPs approved support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGAF) to help workers return to the labour market. The decision still needs to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole and Council.
The Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Group laid off 611 workers when stagnating demand in the European Union, combined with loss of market share due to cheaper Chinese products, forced the company to dismiss even highly-skilled, specialised employees. The company has already received EGAF help three times.
Denmark applied for support in December 2012. The authorities will receive €6.3 million support to their efforts to help those laid off.
One-time market leader Nokia dismissed 4509 workers in response to its loss of market share in smart phones and mobile phones. The Finnish company, which saw the production and assembly of mobile device components relocate to Asian countries, has already received EGAF help at its plants in Germany, Romania and Finland.
This time, 3719 workers will receive support worth €9.8 million from the EGAF. Finland applied for the assistance in February 2013.
First Solar Manufacturing GmBH laid off 959 workers when the collapse of prices in the sector forced it to close two plants in 2012. The free-fall of prices was caused by huge overcapacity in China, combined with a decline in worldwide demand.
Germany applied for help in April 2013. The €2.3 million provided by the EGAF will fund measures to improve the employability of 875 workers.
Parliament’s final word on all three applications will come at the December plenary session.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. The annual ceiling of the fund is €500 million. Ten payments have been made from the fund in 2013.Redundant workers are offered measures such as support for business start-ups, job-search assistance, occupational guidance and various kinds of training. In most cases, national authorities have already started the measures and will get their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.