to welcome the changes proposed to the EGF, such as the lower thresholds of displaced workers or the inclusion of dismissals in different economic sectors but in the same region in the intervention criteria, since those changes will substantially simplify the use of the Fund for potential beneficiaries and thus result in a higher uptake of the fund helping in this way the relevant authorities at national, regional and local level cushion more effectively the adverse side effects of globalisation.
to highlight that according to the OECD’s report Productivity and Jobs in a Globalised World: (How) Can All Regions Benefit? helping regions identify opportunities in globalisation is essential, and ensuring countries remain open to globalisation will require greater success in addressing regional divides within countries.
Given that the MFF negotiations are not yet completed the impact that can be measured at this stage is to what an extent the CoR opinion is reflected in the resolution of the EP adopted on 16 January 2019. The EP resolution and the opinion of the CoR present matching views on a number of issues, such as broadening the scope of the fund and assessing its impact on local and regional levels. Furthermore, both the EP and the CoR underline the importance of environmental, technological and social transitions and therefore propose changing the fund's name by replacing the word globalisation by transitional.
More specifically, the EP proposes to lower the thresholds for redundant worker from 250 to 200 and to extend the reference time from four or six months to nine (AMs 39-41). The opinion of the CoR suggests lowering the thresholds even further, to 150 redundant workers, and to extent the reference time to nine months (AM 4), just like the EP. Furthermore, the EP suggest (AM 93) that the foreseen evaluation of the EGF financial contributions should include subsequent impact assessment of its application at national, regional and local levels. The execution of local and regional impact assessment in relation to trade related issues have long been a demand of the CoR. Finally, the EP proposes that the fund should be renamed the European Fund for Transition (EFT) (AM 1) whereas the CoR opts for European Transitions' Support Fund (ETSF) (AM 1).
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- Underlines that the draft regulation clearly foresees to enlarge the Fund's scope beyond globalisation. Therefore proposes that the fund should be renamed the European Transition Support Fund (ETSF);
- Proposes that the co-funding rate of the cost of the package of personalised services and its implementation should be not less than 60%. This minimum percentage may be increased by a further 5% if objective and operational measures and instruments for anticipation and restructuring have been provided for;
- stresses, with regard to the scope, that future European economic crises will require more adaptive financing, and therefore proposes that the amount available for support be increased from EUR 200 million to EUR 500 million per year. It is necessary to increase both the number of actions, with decisive involvement of SMEs, and the amount of financial support per employee. Furthermore suggests that the threshold should be reduced from 250 to 150 displaced workers and that the reference period should be extended from four to nine months;
- welcomes the emphasis on the role of disseminating the skills needed in the digital industrial era as a mandatory cross-cutting element of any package of personalised services offered;
- calls on regional authorities to play an active part in regional economic development strategies, given the need to match skills and abilities to the needs of regional industry, through close cooperation between the education and training sector and regional social, trade union and business stakeholders;
- points to the need for greater flexibility and adaptability among measures under the funds to enable support for a broader range of economic development measures that help close the gap between short-term measures and longer-term conversion strategies financed by cohesion policy;
- warns of European citizens' growing dissatisfaction and concern over global trends, known as the "geography of discontent", which is fuelling isolationist movements;