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Boylan calls for Globalisation Fund’s unspent millions to be used for Brexit

8 May, 2017 - by Lynn Boylan MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has demanded that the European Commission initiate legislation to be brought before the European Council and European Parliament to broaden the scope of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to allow applications due to Brexit and put the globalisation funds huge underspend to work for Irish and European workers.

MEP Boylan, a member of the European Parliament’s European Globalisation Funding Working Group, said:

“The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund provides support to workers affected as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or as a result of the global economic and financial crisis.

“In light of the uncertainty posed by Brexit and the difficulties developing in the talks between the EU and Britain regarding trade, I fundamentally believe that the globalisation fund can, and should, be broadened to include Brexit and as result allow the €318m underspend to be activated for Irish and European workers.

“Given that under the two most likely subsequent trade models, World Trade Organisation (WTO) or Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), it is projected that Ireland could suffer almost equal GDP losses (between 3-4%) to Britain by 2030, some help and understanding has to be forthcoming from the EU.

“Indeed, the beneficiaries of such a change stretch beyond Ireland; reports from late last year stated that one in three large European companies expects its business to be damaged by the talks which will lead to Britain leaving the EU, therefore, it is imperative that some plans be put in place to help and shield workers and communities from the fallout.

“Therefore, I am calling on the European Commission to bring forward legislation to broaden the scope of the EGF for the period 2014-20. I am also calling on the Irish Government to make the same demand of the Commission.

“In 2009, Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 on establishing the EGF was amended by co-decision procedure 2008/0267/COD in order to broaden the scope of the Regulation. The European Commission took the initiative to propose amendments to the Regulation based on developments at the time, namely the financial crisis and its negative impact on the labour markets of Member States.

“Given that there are similarly severe developments materialising at this time in Ireland, and around Europe, I am calling on the European Commission to follow the process they did in 2009 and amend the scope of the EGF to include workers around Europe who have been made redundant because of Brexit.

“Over the past three years, the EGF has had an underspend of over €318 million, so it is not a question of requesting new funds, rather it is allowing the astonishing underspend to be put to work helping large numbers of workers who have suffered, or will suffer, because of Brexit.

“As a member of the European Parliament’s EGF Working Group, I am also going to seek support for this call amongst my fellow MEPs.” 

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