Following on from the Hampton Court Summit in October 2005, the European Commission published its proposal regarding the setting up of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (GAF) intended to provide help, for example, to workers who fall victim to globalisation with financial aid or assistance in finding a new job. An amount of 500 million euro per year is due to be paid into this adjustment fund.
The ETUC welcomes the setting up of this instrument, although it considers that the European Commission does not give the social partners a big enough role: in fact the Commission provides for no more than simple information for the social partners regarding the measures linked to the implementation of this fund. When it comes to restructuring operations, it is essential for the social partners to be consulted and their input taken into account.
Likewise, the European trade union movement is critical of the Commission's approach, which restricts the support offered under the GAF to workers affected by relocations/restructuring operations occurring outside the EU and not within the European Union.
According to the European Commission's impact study, some 35,000 to 50,000 workers a year might benefit from the aid allocated by the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. The ETUC stresses that on the basis of the report by the European Restructuring Observatory in 2005, the number of workers losing their jobs following restructuring operations has topped the 570,000 mark.
The ETUC stresses the need to ensure co-ordination between the various existing instruments so as to increase the coherence and effectiveness of the aids available to workers.