EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL POLICY COUNCIL : EGF AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION NOT ADVANCING.

Position:European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
 
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At the Employment and Social Policy Council, on 6 December 2012, with only a few weeks left in its term, the Cyprus EU Council Presidency took stock of its progress on social issues. Germany seized the chance to reiterate its opposition in principle to prolongation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) beyond 2013 and to call for suspension of discussions on the equal treatment directive. Several other ministers supported these views but the Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Laszlo Andor, refused to budge. "As I have already stated several times, the Commission is convinced that the EGF - which demonstrates its added value even more so during crisis periods - must be continued and even improved," he declared. He added in connection with the equal treatment directive: "I encourage the next Presidency to continue debates on the draft directive".

On 6 December, the Cyprus Presidency noted the existence of opposition in principle to continuation of the adjustment fund - which provides support to redundant workers to help them get back into work - by a "non-negligible" number of member states(1) also pointed out difficulties with the co-financing and prefinancing provisions and with extension of the fund's scope (eg inclusion of farmers in the list of beneficiaries). Germany - backed by the United Kingdom - turned down point blank any continuation of the fund after 2013, but France, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Romania defended the opposite view...

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