Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said: "In the current crisis, showing solidarity must be a strong part of the answer. These funds will help those car sector workers to retrain and get back onto the labour market as soon as possible."
In December 2008 Spain applied for a contribution from the EGF to assist workers made redundant in twelve companies in the automotive sector: six from the Castilla y León region and six from the neighbouring region of Aragón. These redundancies were brought about by major structural changes in the pattern of world trade, in particular an increase of imports into the EU of motor vehicles and their components, a reduction of the EU share in world motor vehicle production and a relocation of production to third countries.
In February 2009, the Spanish authorities revised their application as they decided to increase by two million euro the initial cost of the package of EGF assistance in order to support 220 additional dismissed workers. This revised application was approved by the Commission in March 2009.
Of the 1 082 workers made redundant, the 588 workers with the biggest difficulties for re-integration into the labour market are targeted for assistance from the EGF, namely workers made redundant by Lear Corporation and Nachi industrial, both located in Castilla y León and by Delphi Packard España, Automotive Connections and Equipments, Auxiliar de Componentes Eléctricos, located in Aragón.
The total estimated cost of the package of EGF assistance - which will include guidance, preparation of personal pathways, generic and specific training, support by a specialised team for re-integration, incentives to support active job-searching and incentives for the rapid re-integration into the labour - is approximately €5.4 million, of which the European Globalisation adjustment Fund will pay €2.7 million.
Since 2007 there have been 21 applications to the EGF, for a total amount of over €112 million, concerning redundancies in the automotive industry in Austria, Sweden, France, Portugal and Spain, in the mobile phone sector in Germany and Finland; in the domestic appliances sector in Italy and in the textile sector in Italy, Malta, Lithuania and Belgium. There have been thirteen applications approved and paid under the EGF so far, for a total amount of over €72 million, helping more than 15,600 workers.
The EGF was established by the European Parliament and the Council at the end of 2006 to provide help for people who have lost their jobs due to the impact of globalisation. In December 2008, the European Commission proposed to revise the EGF to strengthen its role as an early intervention instrument as part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1985 ). The revised EGF Regulation will enter into force shortly and will apply to all applications received as from 1 May 2009 onwards.
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