The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers (EGF).
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Pending its final approval, this agreement will allow the Fund to continue supporting workers and self-employed persons whose activity has been lost.
The EGF helps to fund personalised support measures that complement national support mechanisms, such as tailor-made training courses, re-skilling and up-skilling – particularly to gain digital skills, mentoring and career guidance, job-matching assistance and job search, the launch of a new business, and allowances for carers.
Under the new political agreement, the focus shifts from the cause of restructuring to its impact. The future EGF will:
- allow more workers to receive European support: Under the new rules, the main criterion to trigger the Fund is that at least 200 workers are laid off. This lowers the current threshold of 500 lay-offs, thus allowing more workers to benefit from the Fund's support.
- cover the costs of support services at a higher rate: The contribution to the cost of services can now be increased up to the highest co-financing rate under the future European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) in any given Member State. This will facilitate the use of the EGF in less developed regions.
- shifting the focus from the causes of restructuring to their impact: Thanks to the new eligibility rules, workers affected by shocks like the coronavirus crisis but also more general changes like the transition to a low-carbon economy will receive help to find new jobs. Under the new rules, all reasons for restructuring, including the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation, can be eligible for support. This comes on top of reasons like changing trade patterns or consequences of the financial and economic crisis, for which workers can receive support from the Fund currently.
The annual ceiling available per year is €186 million (in 2018 prices).
Once finalised, the Regulation on the EGF must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council to enter into force.
Since 2007, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been providing support to people losing their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, e.g. when a large company shuts down or production is moved outside the EU, or as a result of the global economic and financial crisis.
So far, the EGF has been mobilised 161 times. Some €640 million has been requested to provide support to more than 156,000 dismissed workers in 21 Member States.