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de Brún MEP calls for flexible use of EU Fund

22 November, 2007

Bairbre de Brún MEP has called on the European Commission to show flexibility over the admissibility of a claim to the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund following the recent announcement of huge job losses at Seagate.

Ms de Brún was speaking after raising the issue with representatives from a range of Assembly Departments who are out in Brussels today to meet with their counterparts from the European Commission. Ms de Brún, who has fought to get eligibility for those affected by the Job losses at Seagate Limavady, also asked officials to raise the matter again today in their meetings.

Ms de Brún said:

"The fact that the number of jobs to be lost is so close to the 1,000 threshold of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, and the impact the Seagate closure will have on the local economy should be sufficient grounds for the Commission to show flexibility and to release funds to support the Seagate workers.

"We tried to amend the legislation in the European Parliament to set the threshold for support 500 job losses, rather than the 1,000 job losses the Parliament decided upon. We also tried to explicitly include the local economic impact. Either of our two proposals would have ensured that those affected by the job losses at the Seagate technology factory at Limavady would have been certain to qualify. Unfortunately, this did not command majority support in the vote.

"The Commission now has an opportunity to demonstrate that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund can respond to the challenges of globalisation in a way that responds to the real needs of workers across Europe. If the fund can not help the Seagate workers and their families, then the Commission will demonstrate that it is failing to deal with the negative social consequences of globalisation.

"I would hope that meetings between Assembly officials and Commission officials can help strengthen the argument in favour of flecxibility on the part of the Commission." ENDS

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