European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: €5.4 million to support 801 dismissed workers in air transport and warehousing in Sardinia

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

Today, the European Commission proposes to support over 800 dismissed workers in Sardinia, Italy. These 801 people include 611 former Air Italy workers and 190 former workers of Porto Canale in Cagliari, who lost their jobs as a consequence of restructuring and globalisation.

The proposed €5.4 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF) will help these workers to find new jobs through further education or training, or to start their own business.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Sardinia has a small labour market due to its insularity and location far away from the mainland. The Commission has proposed the €5.4 million financial support from the European Globalisation Fund to give the dismissed workers additional active labour market measures they need to relaunch their careers.”

The redundancies in Porto Canale are related to the end of operations at the port of Cagliari, following the relocation of cargo shipping operations to locations that offer land connections with the rest of Italy and Europe. The dismissals in the airline Air Italy are the result of various issues that were unforeseen and meant that Air Italy could not create business as planned. This led Air Italy to stop operations in February 2020.

The €5.4 million in support from the EGF will help the Sardinian authorities to finance measures including career guidance and individualised job-search support. Training will also help to improve digital skills of dismissed workers and therefore contribute to the digital transition in the logistics and goods movements sectors. Participants can receive allowances for participating in these support measures.

The total estimated cost of the support measures is €6.3 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€5.4 million). The Region of Sardinia will cover the remaining 15%.

The Commission’s proposals require approval by the European Parliament and the Council.


Sardinia has a small labour market due to its insularity and distance from the mainland.

The COVID-19  pandemic had a significant impact on the Sardinian labour market with 6.000 job losses in 2020, mainly in tourism, entertainment and leisure services, and maritime freight transport. The 2020 activity rate decreased by 3.1 percentage points compared with 2019, to 60.3%.

In this context, the workers displaced from Porto Canale and Air Italy will require additional support to find new employment opportunities.

Under the new EGF regulation 2021-2027, the Fund continues to support workers and self-employed whose activity has been lost. With the new rules, EGF support becomes more easily available for people affected by restructuring events: all types of unexpected major restructuring events can be eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member States can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.

Since 2007, the EGF made available some €652 million in 166 cases, offering help to nearly 160.000 workers and more than 4.000 young people not in employment, education or training in 20 Member States. EGF supported measures add to national active labour market measures.

Recently the Commission put forward a proposal to mobilise €1.2 million from the EGF in support of 300 workers dismissed in the Basque metal sector.

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