Brussels studies billions of euros in employment safeguards

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Brussels studies billions of euros in employment safeguards

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Digging into emergency and cohesion funds to safeguard employment is part of Brussels’ latest bid to kick-start economic growth.

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is designed to support workers thrown out of work as a result of trade liberalisation.

The head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said a relaunch plan will be ready within a month:

“We must keep unemployment to the absolute minimum and support those who have lost their jobs. We will review how we can reinforce the effectiveness of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. We will encourage member states to reprogramme funds under the European social fund, to support measures to quickly get unemployed people back into work.”

The areas singled out by José Manuel Barroso on which the EU could concentrate its job-creation energies include construction and energy-efficient buildings and goods.

Economic Affairs Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said the EU’s revised Stability Pact allowed for past savings to be used now.

“The new pact called for saving in good times and be more flexible in difficult times. This is where we are today. Thanks to the application of the revised pact, the EU and the euro area achieved a deficit well below 1% of GDP in 2007. Member states can now use the room for manoeuvre they have created.”

Joint coordinated action to keep people employed and solvent is the gist of the Commission’s proposals.

Some 350 billion euros in EU structural and cohesion funds – a large part of the bloc’s six-year budget – could be deployed to accomplish that common goal.