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EU fund for BPO-hit workers

As a result of outsourcing to countries like India, EU has proposed a 500 mn euro annual fund to soften the blow.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 12:12 IST

As a result of relocation and job outsourcing to low cost countries like India, the European Union has proposed a 500 million Euro annual fund to soften the blow of globalisation on Europe's economy.

The money, to be financed by a new 'Globalisation Adjustment Fund', is an indication of Europe's acceptance of globalisation and will be used to aid European employees in dealing with the unexpected developments and side effects of relocation to countries outside the EU, the INEP agency reported on Wednesday.

The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, told a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday that the initiative "is an expression of our desire to reform".

"Globalisation means empowering citizens to reap their benefits to the full. The globalisation adjustment fund shall reinsure that EU citizens are equipped for change and opportunities so that they can move on to new, better, more sustainable jobs.

"Globalisation is irreversible. It is going to continue. We have to recognise this fact and we have to make sure that European values accompany this globalisation," he said.

Barroso called on the 25 EU member states to assume their social responsibility and warned them against "national rhetoric" and protectionist policies - "it is negative for Europe and it is negative for member states," he said.

"No member-state, even the biggest ones, can respond to globalisation on its own. The new fund is in fact a kind of clean insurance policy to be activated in situations of special need."

The fund aims to offer new skills training and promote entrepreneurship amongst workers laid off or who lost their jobs due to a major company's moving elsewhere and restructuring as a result of relocation.

The EU Commissioner for Employment Vladmir Spidla emphasised that the fund would act alongside national measures, and the money would only assist those in the eventuality of relocation outside the EU's 25 member-states.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 10:29 IST