EU to help laid-off workers with globalisation adjustment fund

On Wednesday 1 March, the Commission will present more details on European financial help for workers that have become victims of major company restructuring as a consequence of globalisation.

At the December 2005 European Council, EU leaders confirmed their intention to set up a European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This fund would be available as financial assistance to workers, who lost their jobs as a result of a company restructuring caused by globalisation pressures. It would be used for retraining and outplacement of redundant workers.

On Wednesday 1 March, the Commission will present further details and modalities on the use of this fund. 

Ann Mettler of the Lisbon Council sees the fund as a first good step, but warns that the money should not be spent on “non-competitive” companies. She told EURACTIV that the fund might put a “more human face” on the commission. The EU is now too often blamed as the cause of economic restructuring, according to Mettler. 

In December, Eurochambres urged the Commission to drop the idea of such a fund. Its President Christoph Leitl said: “We do not doubt that the Fund would be a formidable tool for the European Commission to raise its profile with the European public. However, this does not make it the right answer to the question of how to respond to unemployment and other social problems in Europe.”

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