The European Union is to provide €2.2 million in aid for 603 workers recently laid off in Belgium.
Following the closure of "Logistics Nivelles SA" (LNSA), a subsidiary of global transport and logistics firm "Kuehne + Nagel", the aid package was approved on Thursday by the Committee on Budgets in the European Parliament.
This decision came in response to Belgium's appeal for support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF), a press release from the European Parliament announced.
Economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine were cited as impacting Belgium's economic growth and competitiveness.
Aid to benefit disadvantaged workers
The majority of those affected by the layoffs at LNSA were over 50 years old and low skilled, groups that typically struggle to find stable employment.
This situation has added further strain to the Wallonia region of Belgium, where unemployment rates already exceed the national average at 8.4%.
The allocated aid is designed to help these workers find new jobs through personalized guidance, training, and business start-up support.
The total estimated cost for these measures is about €2.5 million. The EGF will cover 85% of this amount (€2.2 million), while the Walloon Region in Belgium will finance the remaining 15% (€380 000).
The draft report recommending approval of the aid, submitted by rapporteur Eleni Stavrou, MEP (EPP, CY), was passed with 26 votes in favor, 1 against, and no abstentions. Final approval is anticipated during the 10-13 July plenary session in Strasbourg.
Since 2007, the EGF has assisted almost 168,000 people across 20 member states, providing €686 million in 175 cases.
The fund was established to support displaced workers and self-employed individuals who have lost their jobs due to unexpected significant global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, decarbonisation, and automation trends. The EGF's initiatives complement national labour market measures.