The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee today adopted changes to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) from 2021 onwards.

One of the major changes of the new version of this fund is that SMEs will be able to benefit from it. “From now on, Member States will be able to apply for support when a restructuring event of at least 200 workers takes place. The minimum threshold used to be 500 employees. I feel very strongly about this change because it is highly relevant for SMEs. The more employees that benefit from the support of the fund, the more we can try to avoid social repercussions for families”, declared Tom Vandenkendelaere MEP, EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur.

With a budget of €1.57 billion over the period 2021-2027, this fund will provide support for people who lose their jobs because of major structural changes due to globalisation, including cases where restructuring events happen because of automation, digitalisation or the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“The world is changing fast, both big companies and SMEs are more and more subject to major restructuration. It was absolutely necessary to take on board a large scope of reasons for which a Member State can apply for the fund”, explained Tom Vandenkendelaere.

In practice, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund will complement national measures in order to re-integrate dismissed workers by offering them help through career advice, education, training and re-training, entrepreneurship and business creation.