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The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF) is a special EU instrument to express EU solidarity with European workers or the self-employed that were displaced due to restructuring, and to help them find new jobs.
The EGF contributes to the creation of a more dynamic and competitive European economy by improving the skills and employability of displaced people, to help them find better work.
The EGF helps low-skilled and disadvantaged jobseekers deal with new challenges on the labour market.
As a general rule, the EGF can be activated when a single company (including its suppliers and downstream producers) lays off over 200 workers, by SMEs in various sectors in the same region or in a particular sector in one or more neighbouring regions.
The EGF has an annual budget of €210 million for 2021-2027. It can fund from 60% to 85% of the cost of projects designed to help workers made redundant find another job or set up their own businesses.
National or regional authorities implement and manage EGF cases. Each project runs for two years.
What support can the EGF provide?
The EGF adds to existing job market assistance services by providing personalised measures for the unemployed.
The EGF can co-finance measures such as
- help with looking for a job
- career advice
- education, training and re-training
- mentoring and coaching
- entrepreneurship and business creation
It can also provide training or subsistence allowances or similar support, including allowances for carers, mobility and relocation allowances, and employers’ recruitment incentives.
The EGF does not co-finance social protection measures such as pensions or unemployment benefits.
Who can benefit?
Individual workers made redundant can benefit from EGF projects. This includes self-employed, temporary and fixed-term workers.
The EGF does not provide support to help companies stay in business, modernise or restructure.
EGF Regulation for 2021-2027
The rules on intervention criteria, eligible beneficiaries, and measures are set out in the EGF regulation. The main aspects are:
- Those who lose their job due to the coronavirus crisis, digitisation, automation, the transition to a low-carbon economy, or other changes, are eligible for support; no matter what caused the job displacement.
- The formal requirement is that a minimum of 200 workers have lost their job within a specific reference period.
- The co-financing rate can go from 60% up to 85%.
- Each case runs for 2 years.
How does the EGF differ from the EU Structural and Investment Funds?
The EU Structural and Investment Funds, particularly the European Social Fund Plus, take a strategic, long-term perspective in anticipating and managing the social impact of industrial change through activities such as life-long learning.
The EGF provides workers with one-off individual support that is limited in time.