Commission seeks to allocate additional funds to restructuring

The Commission proposes the establishment of new funds dedicated to economic restructuring under the European Social Fund for the budgetary period 2007-2013.

In its new Communication on restructuring and employment, the Commission proposes the introduction of new budgetary resources to deal specifically with economic restructuring. Under the plans, EU funding would focus on increasing the adaptability of workers and enterprises, tackling unemployment and promoting partnership.

The Commission would allocate around one billion euro annually to support areas affected by restructuring under a new ‘growth adjustment’ fund. In addition, it proposes that member states create a reserve for unforeseen restructuring under their convergence and competitiveness budgets. The resources available could thus total 11.3 billion euro during the period 2007-13.

The Council and Parliament must give their approval to the Commission’s proposal before it can go ahead.

The communication pinpoints areas where the EU could improve the status quo, such as co-ordination between EU policies, adapting the regulatory framework and developing partnerships with key stakeholders. It urges the European social partners [employer and employee organisations] to take a more proactive role in tackling restructuring.

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