Parliament approved 18.4 million in European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid on Tuesday, to help workers made redundant by Vestas Group (Denmark), Nokia (Finland) and First Solar Manufacturing GmBH (Germany), to get back into the labour market.
The aid will go to 611 workers made redundant by Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Group ( 6.3 million); 4,509 by Finland s one-time mobile phone market leader Nokia, ( 9.8 million); and 959 by German solar energy firm First Solar Manufacturing GmBH ( 2.3 million). The EU Council of Ministers, the other arm of the EU budgetary authority, approved the three countries EGF aid applications on 2 December.
Vestas, Denmark Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Group made 611 workers redundant when stagnating demand in the EU, combined with loss of market share to cheaper Chinese products, forced it to dismiss even highly-skilled, specialised employees. Vestas has already received three tranches of EGF aid. Denmark made its latest EGF aid application in December 2012.
Nokia, Finland Finland s former mobile phone market leader Nokia made 4,509 workers redundant in response to its loss of market share in smart phones and mobile phones. It relocated production and assembly of mobile device components to Asian countries and has already received EGF help at its plants in Germany, Romania and Finland. This time, 3,719 workers will receive support worth 9.8 million. Finland applied for the aid in February 2013.
First Solar, Germany German solar energy firm First Solar Manufacturing GmBH made 959 workers redundant when collapsing prices in the sector forced it to close two plants in 2012. The collapse was caused by overcapacity in China coupled with a decline in worldwide demand. The 2.3 million in EGF aid will fund measures to improve the employability of 875 workers. Germany applied for the aid in April 2013.
Background The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (annual ceiling 500 million) contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Ten payments have been made from the fund in 2013. EGF aid helps to pay for measures such as support for business start-ups, job-search assistance, occupational guidance and various kinds of training. In most cases, national authorities have already started the measures and have their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.