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Document 52015DC0355

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the activities of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in 2013 and 2014

COM/2015/0355 final

Brussels, 22.7.2015

COM(2015) 355 final

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

on the activities of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in 2013 and 2014


FOREWORD BY THE COMMISSIONER

Dear Reader,

I am proud to present to you this report on the achievements of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in 2013 and 2014. The Fund has undergone a remarkable development since its beginnings in 2007. Today the Fund covers a wide variety of sectors and economic activities and more and more Member States have benefited from its support.

During times when public resources are restricted and the capacity of Public Employment Services across Europe is stretched to its limits, the EGF has provided welcome support to workers falling victim to mass lay-offs caused by globalisation or the crisis. The personalised and targeted assistance given has helped to redirect the redundant labour into new growth and promising sectors.

The results presented in this report demonstrate the added value of the EGF and show that the intensified assistance provided through the EGF, which is often concentrated on the redundant workers with the most difficulties in finding a new job, has paid off, which is illustrated by an impressive re-employment rate of almost 50 % for assisted workers.

The new EGF Regulation adopted by the European Parliament and Council in December 2013 extends the support to include additional often vulnerable labour force segments like temporary staff, the self-employed and by derogation until the end of 2017, young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) to support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. The legal framework has been streamlined so the funding can be made available faster on the ground. From 1 April 2015, further efficiency gains are envisaged through the introduction of an online communication platform which Member States will use to submit their electronic EGF applications. These changes bode well for the future role of the EGF in terms of mitigating potential short-term adverse effects in order to harvest the long-term economic and employment benefits of globalisation and to step fully out of the shadows of the economic crisis.

Marianne Thyssen

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility



TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.Introduction

2.Overview of the activities of the EGF in 2013 and 2014

3.Follow-up to the 2012 Annual Report on the activities of the EGF

4.Analysis of the Activities of the EGF in 2013 and 2014

4.1.Applications received

4.1.1.Applications received by sector

4.1.2.Applications received by amount requested

4.1.3.Applications received by number of workers targeted for assistance

4.1.4.Applications received by amount requested per worker

4.1.5.Applications received by intervention criterion

4.2.Contributions granted

4.2.1.Actions funded with EGF assistance

4.2.2.Complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds, notably the European Social Fund (ESF)

4.3.Cases not meeting the conditions for a financial contribution from the EGF

4.4.Results achieved by the EGF

4.4.1.Summary of the results and good practices reported in 2013 and 2014

4.4.2.Qualitative assessment

4.5.Programming period 2014-2020 — the new EGF Regulation

4.6.Financial report

4.6.1.Funds contributed by the EGF

4.6.2.Technical assistance expenditure

4.6.3.Irregularities reported or closed

4.6.4.Winding-up of financial contributions from the EGF

4.6.5.Other reimbursements

4.7.Technical assistance activities undertaken by the Commission

4.7.1.Information and publicity

4.7.2.Meetings with the national authorities and EGF stakeholders

4.7.3.Creation of a knowledge base — EGF database and standardised procedures for EGF applications

4.7.4.Ex-post evaluation of the EGF for the 2007-13 programming period

5.Trends

6.Conclusion

1.Introduction

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is intended to provide support to workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns. The EGF, which was set up by Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, 1 was designed to reconcile the overall long-term benefits of open trade for growth and employment with the short-term adverse effects which globalisation may have, particularly on the employment of the most vulnerable and lowest-skilled workers. The EGF co-finances active labour market policy measures taken by the Member States to help redundant workers reposition themselves on the labour market and find new jobs. The EGF supplements national labour market measures where sudden collective redundancy processes put the public employment services under extraordinary pressure. It can provide a more personalised and targeted approach to the most vulnerable redundant workers.

To respond more effectively to the global financial and economic crisis, the rules governing the EGF were amended first by Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 2 and, since January 2014, by Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013. 3

Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 requires the Commission to present to the European Parliament and to the Council every two years a quantitative and qualitative report on the activities of the EGF in the previous two years. The reports must focus mainly on the results achieved by the EGF, including in particular information on the following:

applications submitted;

decisions adopted;

actions funded, including their complementarity with actions funded by other Union instruments, in particular the European Social Fund (ESF);

the winding-up of financial contributions made.

The reports should also document requests refused owing to insufficient funds or ineligibility. From the wording of Article 19, it follows that the reports examine actions completed in the reference period rather than following cases during their lifecycle (each section of the report will examine different cases).

2.Overview of the activities of the EGF in 2013 and 2014

In 2013 and 2014, the Commission received 30 applications for contributions from the EGF, totalling EUR 109 million. Details of the applications are given in Section 4.1 and in Table 1.

The budgetary authority took 28 decisions to make use of the EGF in 2013 and 2014, amounting to a total of EUR 114.4 million from the EGF’s 2013-2014 budget. Details of the contributions granted are set out in Section 4.2 and in Tables 2 and 3.

The Commission received 34 final reports on the implementation of EGF contributions in 2013-2014. The results are described in Section 4.4 and Table 4. Of the EGF contributions granted in previous years, 34 were wound up in the reference period (details in Section 4.6.4 and Table 3 of the Annex).

Technical assistance provided at the initiative of the Commission (Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 11 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013) is described in Section 4.6.2 and Table 5.

The 2007-2013 ex-post evaluation was carried out in two phases by an external service provider (more details in Section 4.7.4), which then sent the resulting reports to the Commission.

The Commission submitted its proposal for a future EGF Regulation for 2014-2020 to the European Parliament and the Council in 2011. 4 The proposal was discussed in both institutions and adopted in December 2013, allowing Member States to apply for EGF co-funding under the new rules from January 2014 onwards (more details in Section 4.5).

3.Follow-up to the 2012 Annual Report on the activities of the EGF

From 1 May 2009, a temporary ‘crisis derogation’ was available, allowing Member States to cite the financial and economic crisis as ground for an application to the EGF. The derogation lapsed after 31 December 2011 as no agreement was reached in Council to extend it. Therefore, for the remaining period of the original EGF Regulation, i.e. up to 31 December 2013, applications for EGF support could not be justified on the grounds of the financial and economic crisis, but only on grounds of structural changes in world trade patterns. At the same time, the co-funding rate reverted to the original 50 % of total eligible costs.

Under the new Regulation for 2014-2020, a financial and economic crisis can once again be cited as grounds for an EGF application. Another important change under the new Regulation is the inclusion of new categories of beneficiaries, such as temporary and agency workers, self-employed workers and — until the end of 2017 — young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

4.Analysis of the Activities of the EGF in 2013 and 2014

4.1.Applications received

In 2013 and 2014, the Commission received 30 EGF applications 5 (see Table 1). These were submitted by 10 Member States (Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain). The applications, which requested a total of EUR 108 733 976 from the EGF, targeted 28 390 workers made redundant as a result of structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or the economic and financial crisis. All 10 Member States had previously applied for EGF funding.

The 2013 applications were covered by Regulation (EC) No 546/2009, which allowed for a 50 % co-funding rate and no use of the ‘crisis’ criterion. The 2014 applications, on the other hand, were covered by Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, which allows for a 60 % co-funding rate and the possibility to use the global financial and economic crisis as an intervention criterion.

Table 1 — Applications received in 2013 and 2014

4.1.1.Applications received by sector

The 30 applications received during the period under review related to a broad range of sectors (24). 6 EGF applications were submitted for the first time for 10 sectors. The sectors concerned were: — food products, slaughterhouses, chemicals, glass, manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products, jewellery, transport/warehouse, air transport, food and beverage services, programming and broadcasting, repair and installation of machinery and equipment, and information and communication.

4.1.2.Applications received by amount requested

Every Member State applying for EGF support must design a coordinated package of measures that best fits the targeted workers’ profiles, and decide on the amount of assistance to request. The EGF Regulation sets out the maximum Commission co-financing rate for EGF cases. 7 The Commission’s assessment of an application may raise issues prompting a Member State to revise the proposed package of personalised services, thereby affecting the amount requested.

The EGF contributions requested in 2013 and 2014 ranged from EUR 115 205 to EUR 25 937 813 (average EUR 3 624 466).

4.1.3.Applications received by number of workers targeted for assistance

The total number of workers targeted by the measures proposed for co-financing by the EGF was 28 390, which is around 76 % of the total number of around 37 000 redundancies declared by the 10 Member States in the 30 applications submitted.

The numbers of targeted workers ranged from 50 to 3 886, with four applications targeting more than 1 000 and 11 applications targeting fewer than 500 workers. The number of workers made redundant and the number targeted for EGF support can differ, because the applicant Member State may decide to focus the EGF assistance only on specific groups of workers, such as those facing exceptional difficulties in staying in the labour market and/or those most in need of assistance. Some of the affected workers may receive assistance outside the EGF, while others may find new jobs on their own or may decide to take early retirement, which means that they would not be targeted for EGF measures.

4.1.4.Applications received by amount requested per worker

The package of individualised services that Member States may propose for the redundant workers concerned is at their discretion, as long as it is within the terms of the Regulation. The amount requested per worker affected can therefore vary according to the severity of the lay-offs, the situation of the labour market affected, the individual circumstances of the workers targeted, the measures already provided by the Member State, and the cost of providing the services in the Member State or region concerned. This explains why the amounts of EGF support proposed per worker in 2013 and 2014 varied from about EUR 1 152 to slightly above EUR 6 675, with an average of EUR 3 352 per worker.

4.1.5.Applications received by intervention criterion

In the period under review, 19 applications were to support workers made redundant owing to major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, while 11 applications were to support workers made redundant due to the economic and financial crisis. Four of the trade-related applications were justified by exceptional circumstances.

4.2.Contributions granted

In 2013 and 2014, the budgetary authority took 28 decisions to make EGF funding available for active labour market policy measures in response to Member State applications. See Tables 2 and 3 for an overview of the contributions granted and a profile of the workers concerned. Of these, nine concerned applications made in 2013 and 11 concerned applications made in 2014. A further eight related to applications received in 2011 (4) and 2012 (4). For the four applications submitted in 2011, the higher co-funding rate of 65 % in response to the crisis applied. For the 13 applications submitted in 2012 and 2013, the co-funding rate was 50 %, and the remaining 11 applications made in 2014 had a 60 % co-financing rate.

The 28 contributions granted targeted 27 610 redundant workers in 13 Member States, with a total of EUR 114 427 463 paid from the EGF.

Table 2 — Details of contributions granted in 2013--2014

 

Table 3 — EGF contributions granted in 2013 and 2014: Profile of workers (excluding NEETs) 8

4.2.1.Actions funded with EGF assistance

Under Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, the EGF can co-finance active labour market measures aiming to help redundant workers back into employment. In addition, the Regulations state that the EGF may finance a Member State’s implementing activities, i.e. the preparatory, management, information, publicity and control activities for use of the funding.

The measures approved for the 28 EGF contributions granted in 2013 and 2014 aimed to reintegrate 27 610 redundant workers into the labour market. The measures consisted mainly of the following:

intensive personalised job search assistance and case management;

a variety of vocational training, upskilling and retraining measures;

various temporary financial incentives/allowances for the duration of the active support measures up to when the workers actually went back into employment;

some mentoring during the initial phase in the new job;

other types of activities, such as entrepreneurship promotion/business creation, and one-off employment/hiring incentives.

When designing their support packages, Member States took into account the backgrounds, experiences and educational levels of the individual workers, their ability to be mobile and the current or expected job opportunities in the regions concerned.

4.2.2.Complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds, notably the European Social Fund (ESF)

The EGF is designed to increase employability and ensure the rapid reintegration of redundant workers into employment through active labour market measures, thus complementing the ESF, which is the major EU instrument for promoting employment. Generally, the complementarity of the two funds lies in their ability to address these issues from two different time perspectives: the EGF provides tailor-made assistance to redundant workers in response to a specific, large-scale mass redundancy whereas the ESF supports strategic, long-term goals (e.g. increasing human capital, managing change) through multiannual programmes, whose resources cannot normally be reallocated to deal with crisis situations caused by mass redundancies. EGF and ESF measures are sometimes used to complement each other to provide both short-term and longer-term solutions. The decisive criterion is the potential of the available instruments to help workers, and it is up to Member States to select — and to programme — the instruments and actions best suited to achieving the objectives pursued.

The content of the ‘coordinated package of personalised services’ to be co-funded by the EGF should be balanced with other actions and complement them. The measures co-funded by the EGF can go well beyond standard courses and actions. Practice has shown that the EGF allows Member States to offer redundant workers better tailor-made and more in-depth assistance than would be possible without it, including measures to which they would not normally have access (e.g. second- or third-level education). The EGF allows Member States to pay particular attention to vulnerable people, such as the lower-skilled or those with a migrant background, and to provide support with a better counsellor-worker ratio and/or over a longer period of time than would be possible without the EGF. This serves to increase the workers’ prospects of improving their situation. By way of derogation until the end of 2017, the new EGF Regulation allows Member States to extend the support to cover young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) in regions of high youth unemployment. The aim is to support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, which was endorsed by Council in April 2013. 9  

All Member States must put in place the necessary mechanisms to avoid any risk of double funding from EU financial instruments, as required by Article 6(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 9(5) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013.

4.3.Cases not meeting the conditions for a financial contribution from the EGF

Neither the Commission nor the budgetary authority rejected any application submitted by the Member States for EGF funding.

4.4.Results achieved by the EGF

The main sources of information on the results achieved by the EGF are the final reports presented by the Member States under Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013. These are supplemented by information shared by Member States in direct contacts with the Commission and during meetings and conferences.

By the end of 2014, the Commission had received final reports for 34 EGF co-funded cases implemented by 13 Member States up to the middle of 2014. 10

The main results and data reported by these Member States in 2013 and 2014 are summarised in this section and in Table 4 below. The 13 of the 34 cases were also covered by the EGF ex-post evaluation. The objective of the ex-post evaluation is to measure the EGF’s added value and its impact on workers made redundant and labour markets (see Section 4.7.4).

By 31 December 2014, the Commission had received final reports for 91 EGF cases, representing 68 % of the total number of applications received up to that date (134).

Based on the information in the Member States’ final reports, we can conclude that the EGF adds value to what the Member States could otherwise do to help redundant workers find new jobs and reposition themselves on the labour market. The EGF allows Member States to provide better quality measures for more redundant workers and for longer than would be possible without EGF funding.

4.4.1.Summary of the results and good practices reported in 2013 and 2014

The final reports presented by the 13 Member States showed that at the end of the EGF implementation period, 7 656 workers, or 44.9 % of the 18 848 workers who received EGF assistance, had found new jobs or were self-employed. This is a good result, particularly as the workers supported by EGF co-funded measures are usually among those facing the greatest difficulties on the labour market. Approximately 6 % were still in education or training and 39.1 % were unemployed or inactive for personal reasons. Table 4 provides more detail.

As in 2012, the results in terms of reintegration into work were influenced by the reduced absorption capacities of local and regional labour markets in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. However, the reintegration rate recorded at the end of the respective implementation periods merely provides a snapshot of the workers’ employment situation at the moment the data were collected. It does not give any information on the type of employment and the quality of the work that has been found, which can in any case change significantly in a short space of time. According to information received from several Member States, reintegration rates tend to rise just a few months after submission of the final reports and increase further in the medium term, especially in cases where workers continue to receive the tailor-made assistance beyond the EGF period, at the Member States’ own expense or with the help of the ESF. This shows that the EGF co-funded support can have an additional positive impact in the longer run.

4.4.2.Qualitative assessment

The support packages which the 13 Member States provided to workers made redundant included a wide range of personalised job search, outplacement and (re)qualification measures. The highest amounts were spent on two categories of measures: training and retraining (about EUR 56.5 million, or 32 % of the total personalised services for all 34 cases) and financial allowances paid to the workers while they were pursuing active labour market policy measures (about EUR 68.5 million, or 38.8 % of the total personalised services for all 34 cases). Since the 2013 EGF Regulation entered into force, allowances have been limited to a maximum of 35 % of the overall costs. Individual guidance and promotion of entrepreneurship were other frequently used measures.

The qualification and training programmes were tailored to the needs and wishes of the workers while taking into account the requirements of the local or regional labour markets and the future potential of promising sectors.

The ex-post evaluation published in May 2014 11 indicates that the EGF made a positive contribution to addressing significant social and labour market problems resulting from large-scale redundancy procedures. The EGF enabled the Member States to act more decisively in areas affected by redundancies than would have been possible without EGF funding, in terms of the number of people assisted and the scope, duration and quality of support. The evaluation also points out that the intensive and tailor-made assistance provided through the EGF tends to lead to better re-employment outcomes than standardised packages provided through national active labour market policy measures. Besides facilitating more intensive support packages for redundant workers, in some countries the EGF also enabled national authorities to reach out to workers and support measures that would otherwise have been impossible, feeding into the development of policies on restructuring, active labour market and vocational training.

Table 4 — Final reports received in 2013 and 2014 — overview of results

 

4.5.Programming period 2014-2020 — the new EGF Regulation

In accordance with Article 20 of EGF Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, the Regulation was reviewed in 2013 to prepare for the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework. Based on the Commission’s proposal, the Council and the European Parliament approved the continuation of the EGF as a way to provide specific, one-off support to workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes due to globalisation or a global financial and economic crisis. The new EGF Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 17 December 2014.

The new Regulation reintroduces the crisis criterion, so that an EGF application can be justified by the current or future economic and financial crises. It also extends the scope of the EGF by making workers on temporary contracts and self-employed workers eligible for support. To support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the new Regulation contains a derogation, valid until the end of 2017, allowing for the inclusion of NEETs in regions eligible under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). 12 The new Regulation also limits measures under Article 7(b) (e.g. allowances and incentives) to 35 % of the overall costs, while entrepreneurial grants are capped at EUR 15 000 per worker. The new Regulation also introduces deadlines intended to shorten the time it takes from when applications are submitted until the mobilisation decision is taken by the European Parliament and Council.

4.6.Financial report

4.6.1.Funds contributed by the EGF

In 2013 and 2014, the budgetary authority approved 28 contributions from the EGF totalling EUR 114 427 463 (see Table 2 above). These contributions came from the 2013 and 2014 budgets; the four most recent contributions were approved by the budgetary authority in December 2014 and paid at the beginning of 2015.

Under Article 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006, 13 which lays down the budgetary framework for the EGF until the end of 2013, the EGF (in terms of commitment appropriations) may not exceed an annual maximum amount of EUR 500 million. This amount can be drawn from any margin existing under the global expenditure ceiling of the previous year, and/or from cancelled commitment appropriations from the previous two years, excluding those under heading 1B of the financial framework. The amount of EUR 500 million was made available on the EGF reserve line in 2013. For 2014 to 2020, Article 12 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 14 establishes the maximum annual financial ceiling from 2014 until 2020 and allows the use of the EGF up to a maximum annual amount of EUR 150 million (2011 prices). In 2014, this meant that commitment appropriations of EUR 159 181 000 were made available on the EGF reserve line. The commitment appropriations for the contributions granted in both years were transferred from the EGF reserve to the EGF budget line following approval of each application by the budgetary authority.

In terms of payment appropriations, EUR 50 000 000 in payment appropriations was credited to the EGF budget line at the start of both 2013 and 2014. In 2013, this was sufficient for the contributions granted, which amounted to EUR 35 748 557. In 2014, additional payment appropriations were needed for the approved EGF applications, which totalled EUR 78 678 907. These came from recovered amounts following underspending reported by Member States at the closure stage.

4.6.2.Technical assistance expenditure

Under Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, up to 0.35 % of the financial resources available for the year (EUR 1.75 million in 2013) can be used for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission for activities such as preparation, monitoring, information and creation of a knowledge base, administrative and technical support, and audit, control and evaluation activities necessary to implement the EGF Regulation. Article 11(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 sets the ceiling for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission at 0.5 % of the reduced overall amount (about EUR 0.75 million in 2014). The budgetary authority approved the Commission proposals for 2013 and 2014 for technical assistance, which were EUR 750 000 15 and EUR 330 000 16 respectively.

Table 5 — Technical assistance expenditure 2013 and 2014

Description

Budgeted 2013

(EUR)

Actual 2013

(EUR)

Budgeted 2014 (EUR)

Actual 2014 (EUR)

Comment

Information (e.g. updating the EGF website in all EU languages, publications, audiovisual activities)

80 000

28 000

20 000

6 364

Late arrival of funds made participation in DG EMPL activities difficult

Administrative and technical support:

- Two meetings of the Expert group of EGF contact persons

- Two seminars on EGF implementation

70 000

120 000

40 752

81 522

70 000

120 000

140 149

Combining contact persons’ meetings with seminars reduced costs. Only one seminar was held in 2014

Monitoring data collection and
EGF statistical portrait

0

0

20 000

0

Work carried out by the Commission

Creation of a knowledge base:
standardised procedures for EGF applications and their processing; creation and rationalisation of the EGF database containing the facts and figures of EGF cases

80 000

79 739

100 000

100 000

Integration of the EGF into the shared fund management common system (SFC)

Evaluation

400 000

326 611

0

0

In 2013, the offer from the contractor was lower than budgeted. The next evaluation is due in 2015

Total

750 000

556 624

330 000

246 513

4.6.3.Irregularities reported or closed

There were no irregularities reported to the Commission under the EGF Regulations in 2013 and 2014, nor were any EGF-related irregularities closed in 2013 and 2014.

4.6.4.Winding-up of financial contributions from the EGF

The procedures for winding up EGF financial contributions in 2013 and 2014 are laid down in Article 15(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 15(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 respectively. 34 cases, implemented between 2009 and 2013, were wound up in 2013 and 2014. The cases are listed in Table 3 of the Annex.

An EGF case is wound up when the final report has been approved by the Commission, all outstanding reimbursements have been paid and no further action needs to be taken by the Member State or the Commission, apart from the obligation to keep all supporting documents for a further three years in case they are required by the Commission or the Court of Auditors (Article 21(5) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013).

The average budget implementation rate of the cases wound up was 49.8 %, with huge variations ranging from zero to full budget absorption. The total amount of unspent funds reimbursed to the Commission for these 34 cases was about EUR 67.1 million (50.2 % of the EGF contributions to these cases).

There are various reasons why Member States did not use the full amounts granted. While Member States are repeatedly encouraged to make realistic budget estimates for the coordinated package of personalised services, there can be a lack of accurate and informed planning. A too-high safety margin may have been included in the initial calculations, which turned out to be unnecessary. The number of workers wishing to participate in the proposed measures may have been overestimated in the planning phase. Some workers may have opted for cheaper measures rather than more expensive ones or for short-term measures rather than long-term ones, or they may have found new jobs sooner than initially estimated. Other reasons for low spending may have been delays in starting up the measures and failure to fully use the available flexibility to reallocate funds between budget items while implementing the package of personalised services.

The Commission has worked hard to help the Member States with regular information and guidance, holding specific seminars to encourage optimal fund management. Nevertheless, recovery rates at the end of implementation have remained stubbornly high. The initial recovery rate of over 60 % recorded for the first cases has been reduced to 50.2 %, but it still needs to be significantly improved.

The budgeting of the measures and the forecasting of worker participation over the extended 24-month period are expected to improve with experience. We are also seeing improvements in the timing of the arrival of the EGF funding in the affected area, the capacities of the various coordination and implementation structures and the quality of communication between the national and the regional/local levels. Member States are making better use of the possibility to review their budgets and reallocate expenditure between the various measures and/or implementing expenditure. Finally, the EU institutions are trying hard to speed up the procedures for decision-making and the payment of EGF funds, so that the time and funds provided can be used optimally. The new EGF Regulation sets very strict deadlines for the assessment and approval of EGF applications, so that funds become available sooner. With the agreement of the Commission, Member States can also re-budget and introduce new eligible measures during the course of implementation.

4.6.5.Other reimbursements

There were no other reimbursements made in 2013 and 2014.

4.7.Technical assistance activities undertaken by the Commission

4.7.1.Information and publicity

Internet site

Under Article 9(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 and Article 12(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, the Commission is required to set up and maintain an internet site, available in all Community languages, to provide information on the EGF, guidance on the submission of applications, as well as updated information on accepted and refused applications, highlighting the role of the budgetary authority.

The Commission’s EGF internet site 17 was updated with relevant information in 2013 and 2014 in line with the requirements. The website recorded 72 418 page views in 2013 and 38 753 in 2014 and was consulted by 52 968 individual visitors in 2013 and 28 994 in 2014. 18

4.7.2.Meetings with the national authorities and EGF stakeholders

The 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th meetings of the Expert group of contact persons of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who are the Member States’ correspondents for the EGF, were held in March and October of 2013 and 2014 respectively, in Brussels. Part of each meeting was devoted to discussing the Commission’s proposal for an EGF regulation covering the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework, the negotiations on the proposal in the European Parliament and Council and matters for future implementation. Members were also informed about the ex-post evaluation of the EGF 2007-2013 and a range of other agenda items.

The two networking seminars organised in 2013 and 2014 focused on the new EGF regulation and its implications for applicants. Both were well attended by Member State representatives involved in implementing EGF cases.

4.7.3.Creation of a knowledge base — EGF database and standardised procedures for EGF applications

In order to record the quantitative data of EGF cases for statistical purposes, the Commission made improvements to the EGF database in 2013 and 2014 and adapted several forms to make it easier to input case data into the EGF database. This has made it easier for Member States to prepare and submit applications and for the Commission to analyse, aggregate and compare facts and figures on EGF cases. The preparatory work to develop a new electronic application form started on schedule in November 2013. This took into account the earlier preparatory work by external experts in 2011, financed from the 2011 technical assistance budget.

In 2014, the Commission sought to simplify things further by including the EGF in the Commission and Member States’ IT communication system, the Shared fund management common system (SFC). In the future, Member States will use this system to submit applications online through a guided application process. This should result in more correct and complete applications being submitted and make it easier for the Commission to prepare its proposal and for EGF results to be reported. The improved procedure should reduce further the time it takes from the moment an application is submitted by a Member State until the proposal submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council is adopted.

4.7.4.Ex-post evaluation of the EGF for the 2007-13 programming period

33 cases were evaluated in the first phase of the ex-post evaluation (as provided for by Article 17(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006). The cases were selected on the grounds that the final implementation reports had been received by the Commission by 20 September 2012. A further batch of 25 EGF cases was analysed during the final phase of the ex-post evaluation. For those cases, final reports had been received by the end of December 2013. The result of the first phase of the ex-post evaluation was presented in May 2014 and the result of the second phase was delivered to the Commission in May 2015. A list of the cases examined during both phases of the ex-post evaluation can be found in Table 4 of the Annex.

5.Trends

With the increasing number of EGF cases, more data are available to identify trends in applications and to gain an overview of the direction of the Fund’s activities. The data in the graphs below and in the Annex relate to the 134 applications submitted by Member States from 2007 up to 2014. 19 A total of EUR 561.1 million has been so far requested on behalf of 122 121 workers (this is the number of targeted workers estimated by the Member States).


Graph 1:
Number of applications received, 2007-2014

The 2009 amendment of the EGF Regulation, with its inclusion of the crisis criterion, had a considerable impact on the number of applications received by the Commission: from May 2009 (when the relevant amendment became applicable) to the end of 2011, there was a significant rise in applications. From 2007 to 2014, there were 76 crisis-related applications and 58 trade-related applications. 82 % of the applications received between May 2009 and the end of 2011 related to the global financial and economic crisis.

As shown in Table 2 of the Annex, Spain is the Member State which has submitted the highest number of applications for EGF funding (20 applications), followed by the Netherlands (16 applications), Italy (12 applications) and Denmark (10 applications). By 31 December 2014, eight Member States had not yet applied for EGF support: Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and Croatia (which joined the EU on 1 July 2013).


Graph 2:
EGF amounts requested per Member State, 2007-2014

EUR million

From 2007 to 2014, a total amount of EUR 561.1 million was requested from the EGF by 20 Member States (see also the overview table in the Annex). France requested the highest amount of EGF co-funding (EUR 84.6 million for seven applications) followed by Ireland (EUR 67.3 million for nine applications), Denmark (EUR 63.7 million for 10 applications) and Italy (EUR 62.5 for 12 applications).


Graph 3:
Number of targeted workers per Member State, 2007-2014

France is the Member State that has requested EGF assistance for the greatest number of redundant workers (15 454 for 7 applications), followed by Spain (14 863 for 20 applications), Italy (13 367 for 12 applications) and Germany (11 957 for 9 applications). In a further 13 countries, the numbers ranged from over 1 800 in Poland to almost 11 000 in Ireland. In each of the remaining three Member States which submitted applications, fewer than 1 000 workers were covered by the applications.



Graph 4:
Number of applications by sector (NACE Rev. 2), 2007-2014

From 2007 to 2014, the EGF received applications for workers made redundant in 45 sectors (see also the overview in the Annex). Most of the sectors involved were in manufacturing, but construction and services were also represented. Four manufacturing sectors accounted for the largest number of applications: the automotive industry (20 applications or 15 % of the total), followed by machinery and equipment (13 applications, or 10 % of the total), textiles (11 applications, or 8 % of the total) and printing (9 applications, or 7% of the total).

Around 6 % (8 applications) related to workers in the construction industry, broadly defined as covering the construction of buildings, specialised construction activities and architectural and engineering activities. If ancillary sectors such as building materials, carpentry/joinery and ceramics were also included, the figure would rise to 13 applications, or around 10 % of applications. For more than half of the sectors involved (28 out of 45 sectors), the EGF received one single application.


Graph 5:
Number of targeted workers per sector (NACE Rev. 2), 2007-2014

The 134 applications submitted by 20 Member States targeted a total of 122 121 workers made redundant. The sectors concerned were primarily the automotive sector, with almost 29 000 workers targeted (23.0 % of the total covered by the submitted applications), followed by mobile phones (with almost 12 000 targeted workers or 9.4 % of the total), textiles (slightly above 11 500 targeted workers or 9.2 % of the total) and the machinery and equipment sector (almost 10 000 targeted workers or 8.0 % of the total).

Graph 6:
Average EGF amount requested per targeted worker by Member State, 2007-2014

EUR    

Graph 6 illustrates the average EGF support per targeted worker by Member State. The average for the 122 121 workers targeted by the 20 Member States was EUR 4 060. EGF support per targeted worker was largest in Austria and Denmark, at around EUR 14 000 and EUR 10 000 respectively. By contrast, in Lithuania, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, the support requested was less than EUR 1 000 per worker.

6.Conclusion

The trends so far show an increasing number of sectors for which EGF applications have been submitted, with 10 new sectors added in this reporting period. Member States have gained experience in selecting the most suitable measures, directing their assistance to redundant workers in an efficient manner, and making use of the EGF to test new approaches. They are also increasingly using the possibility to reallocate funds between measures during project implementation in order to make best use of the approved contribution.

Failure to achieve a qualified majority in Council meant that the EGF’s temporary ‘crisis derogation’ could not be extended beyond the end of 2011. This limited the possibilities for EU assistance to workers in 2012 and 2013, even though many were still seriously affected by the crisis.

Consequently, from 2012 until the end of 2013, Member States continued to support workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns. However, the economic and financial crisis criterion was reintroduced by the new EGF Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013). The new Regulation also expanded the categories of eligible workers to include self-employed workers and workers on temporary contracts and — by derogation until the end of 2017 — NEETs. These changes broaden the scope for EGF support. The new streamlined adoption timeline means that measures to help workers should be implemented quicker.

If the EGF is used to its full potential, in a way that complements other available instruments and in consultation with the major stakeholders, workers eligible for EGF support can be helped in a tailored and personalised manner. This will improve their labour market opportunities in the medium and longer term as markets continue to recover from the crisis.

(1) Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1, as corrected by OJ L 48, 22.2.2008, p. 82, for all languages and OJ L 202, 31.7.2008, p. 74, for English only.
(2) Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, OJ L 167, 29.6.2009.
(3) Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(4) COM(2011) 608 final, 6.10.2011.
(5) A withdrawn application, EGF/2012/009 BE/Carsid, was reintroduced on 2 April 2013 in a revised form.
(6) Automotive (3), Basic metals (3), Machinery and equipment (2), Retail trade (2), Mobile phones (1), Building materials (1), Textiles (1), Carpentry and joinery (1), Air Transport (1), Food products (1), Construction of buildings (1), Food and beverage service activities (1), Metalworking industry (1), Slaughterhouse (1), Jewellery (1), Shipbuilding (1), Domestic appliances (1), Information and communication (1), Repair and installation of machinery and equipment (1), Programme and Broadcasting activities (1), Chemicals (1), Glass (1), Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products (1) and Transport/warehouse (1).
(7) The maximum co-financing rate for applications presented in 2013 was 50 % whereas for those presented in 2014 it was 60 %.
(8) An additional Proposal, EGF/2012/004 ES/Grupo Santana was adopted in the reference period, but as the case was later withdrawn by ES, the case is excluded from reporting
(9) Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee. The number of NEETs supported by the EGF must not exceed the number of targeted beneficiaries.
(10) Final reports are to be submitted six months after the end of implementation.
(11) European Commission: Ex-post evaluation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (first phase).
(12) COM(2013) 144: Communication from the Commission to the Council, European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Youth Employment Initiative, 12.03.2013.
(13) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(14) Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).
(15) OJ L 209, 3.8.2013, p. 16.
(16) OJ L 292, 8.10.2014, p. 14.
(17) http://ec.europa.eu/egf — available in all 23 EU languages, including Irish.
(18) In 2014, some traffic was lost from the recording tools due to the ‘cookies’ law. Site visitors who bypass the question on the use of cookies or do not accept the use of them are not counted as visitors.
(19) This figure rises to 149 if we take into account the 15 cases withdrawn by the applicant Member States. Withdrawn cases are not considered in the statistics.
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Brussels, 22.7.2015

COM(2015) 355 final

ANNEX

to the

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

on the activities of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in 2013 and 2014


Annex – table 1 — EGF applications by classification of economic activities up to 31 December 2014


Annex – Table 2 — Overview of EGF applications up to 31 December 2014 by Member State and Application Type (Article 1 criteria)

Annex - Table 3 — Cases wound up in 2013-2014



Annex- Table 4 – Ex-post Evaluation – Cases examined

Phase 1

Phase 2

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