Commission welcomes political agreement on European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers (EGF). Pending its final approval, this agreement will allow the Fund to continue supporting workers and self-employed persons whose activity has been lost.

Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: “In the current economic crisis, it is particularly important that we express solidarity with workers who face job losses due to restructuring. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers can help them and the self-employed to find new job opportunities by funding their tailor-made training courses, re-skilling programmes – especially to gain digital skills, career guidance, and job-matching assistance. It can also be used to help start a new business. We must ensure that we protect the dignity of workers and provide everyone the best possible opportunities to gain the skills they need to thrive.”

The EGF helps to fund personalised support measures that complement national support mechanisms, such as tailor-made training courses, re-skilling and up-skilling – particularly to gain digital skills, mentoring and career guidance, job-matching assistance and job search, the launch of a new business, and allowances for carers.

Under the new political agreement, the focus shifts from the cause of restructuring to its impact. The future EGF will:

  • Allow more workers to receive European support: Under the new rules, the main criterion to trigger the Fund is that at least 200 workers are laid off. This lowers the current threshold of 500 lay-offs, thus allowing more workers to benefit from the Fund’s support.
  • Cover the costs of support services at a higher rate: The contribution to the cost of services can now be increased up to the highest co-financing rate under the future European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) in any given Member State. This will facilitate the use of the EGF in less developed regions.
  • Shifting the focus from the causes of restructuring to their impact: Thanks to the new eligibility rules, workers affected by shocks like the coronavirus crisis but also more general changes like the transition to a low-carbon economy will receive help to find new jobs. Under the new rules, all reasons for restructuring, including the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation, can be eligible for support. This comes on top of reasons like changing trade patterns or consequences of the financial and economic crisis, for which workers can receive support from the Fund currently.

The annual ceiling available per year is €186 million (in 2018 prices).

Next steps

Once finalised, the Regulation on the EGF must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council to enter into force. 

On 10 November 2020, a political agreement was reached between the European Parliament, EU Member States in the Council as well as the Commission on the next long-term EU budget and NextGenerationEU. As a next step, the legal adoption of the MFF package along with the ratification of the Own Resources Decision is now urgently needed.

Once adopted, the EU’s long-term budget, coupled with the NextGenerationEU initiative, which is a temporary instrument designed to drive the recovery of Europe, will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget. A total of €1.8 trillion (in 2018 prices) will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe. It will be a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.


Since 2007, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been providing support to people losing their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, e.g. when a large company shuts down or production is moved outside the EU, or as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. So far, the EGF has been mobilised 161 times. Some €640 million has been requested to provide support to more than 156,000 dismissed workers in 21 Member States.

For more information

Factsheet on the EGF

EGF webpage

Legislative procedure on the European Commission proposal for a Regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

Recovery plan

2021-2027 long-term EU budget & Next Generation EU