The European Commission released a report on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, a pot of public money set up ten years ago to help workers in distressed sectors retrain and find new jobs. The press announcement states proudly that this report proves the fund’s “effectiveness”.
In 2015 and 2016, the Globalisation Adjustment Fund provided assistance to 19,500 redundant workers and 1,251 young people not in employment, education or training, the report states.
Spain has by far been the country with most applications to the fund, with twenty-one requests made since the fund’s creation. Spain received help in five cases wound up in 2015 and 2016, with a total of 1986 persons assisted via the fund.
The Netherlands is the country with the second largest number of applications to the fund – seventeen in total over the last decade. But Dutch workers were helped in two cases only that were wound up in 2015 and 2016, and 735 persons received assistance via the fund.
Belgian firms applied in twelve cases and were helped out twice.
France appears to have the highest success rate in the fund, with five applications filed, and two having led to significant assistance. The monies went to workers from the automotive firms Peugeot and Renault, resulting in a total of 5671 persons helped out.
British firms are the only ones among the big member states never having asked for help from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. The other EU countries that never asked for funds are Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Croatia, Malta and Cyprus.
The European Parliament has called for a lower threshold of eligibility to the fund, which sets criteria such as 500 redundancies in companies.
The EU has spent € 70 million on the fund in 2015 and 2016. Funds are complementary to domestic assistance offered by national governments. A total of 147 of applications to the fund were filed between its creation and December 2016.