Portugal: Budget MEPs back €4.66 m in job-search aid for 730 redundant workers

Antonio Costa 2018

Mr Antonio COSTA, Portuguese Prime Minister. Copyright: European Union Event: European Council – June 2018 (Day 2)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Following the dismissal of 1,161 textile workers in three regions, the most disadvantaged among them should receive EU aid worth €4,655,883 to help find new jobs.

The measures, co-financed by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), would provide the 730 workers facing the greatest difficulties, along with up to 730 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30, with various options to improve their skills, including vocational training, and help for those who want to start a business. In total, 1,460 targeted beneficiaries are therefore expected to participate in the measures, including NEETs.

The majority of the workers made redundant are women (88.63 %) with low education levels. 20.55 % of the workers are over 55 years old, says the draft report by José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT). They were employed by two companies, “Ricon Group” and “Têxtil Gramax Internacional”.

Portugal argues that the redundancies are caused by changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation. The EU’s market share has declined, and increasing imports put a downward pressure on prices. Therefore, many textiles and clothing manufacturers moved production to lower-cost countries outside the EU, leading to many workers losing their jobs – 40,000 between 2005 and 2016 in the affected regions in northern and central Portugal and Lisbon.

The draft report by José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), recommending that Parliament approve the aid, was passed by the Budgets Committee on Tuesday by 29 votes to 2, with no abstentions.

Next steps

To take effect, the aid has to be approved by a plenary vote in Parliament, scheduled for 24 October, and by the Council.

Background

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling is €150 million.

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