As part of a plan to cushion the impact of globalisation, the European Commission has announced an initiative worth 500 million euros per year, to help workers thrown out of jobs, such as through restructuring or relocation. Up to 50,000 people a year in the European Union could benefit from the fund, in cases with an EU dimension in terms of their scale and effect.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed how the cash would and would
not be used:
“The fund is not to protect sectors or uncompetitive enterprises, the fund is is addressed to people, to concrete workers, concrete citizens. The fund will suport job search assistance, personalised retraining, promoting entrepreneurship, self-employment or special temporary in-work supplements, such as allowance for those participating in training as well as complementary wage allowances for workers over age 50.”
Member states’ applications to use the fund will need the approval of the European Parliament and a majority of other countries. The proposal was agreed within the framework of the EU budget for 2007-13. The money would come from un-used resources each year. The fund should be in place from January 2007.