Since 2007, it has been possible to support workers affected by mass redundancies with resources from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for displaced workers. In Germany alone, some 14,000 displaced workers have received support over the past years.
The continuation of the EGF had to be negotiated. Fortunately, negotiations were successfully concluded on 16 December 2020 during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The EGF can thus continue to provide assistance for the re-integration of workers into the labour market. In concrete terms this means that redundant workers will be made fit for new jobs, for example through group and individual training measures, counselling, activation in the form of workshops, peer groups and job fairs, start-up grants and job application support.
The agreement now makes it possible for the EGF to help even more redundant workers in future. To this end, the support threshold was lowered to 200 redundancies. Furthermore, from 2021, workers who have been made redundant due to automation and digital technologies, trade disputes or the transition to a low-carbon economy, will also be able to benefit from the fund.
Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs:
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has always been a symbol of solidarity. The Council and the European Parliament have made sure that this will continue well beyond 2020. Our agreement allows the fund to provide help to a greater number of workers who have lost their jobs. It also makes sure that in times of radical digital transformation and reduction of carbon emissions, displaced workers will be provided with support to facilitate their re-integration into employment
The EGF was established in 2007 and was originally aimed only at people affected by mass redundancies due to globalisation. In 2014, the fund was extended to include redundancies as a result of economic downturns and financial crises. Thus far, Germany has been successful with 10 EGF applications, for example to support workers made redundant by Opel, Nokia and Goodyear. Another EGF application is currently in the process of being approved by the EU.
The preliminary agreement on the EGF 2021-2027 that was concluded on 16 December 2020 must now only be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.