Restructuring and Anticipation of Change: Commission must respect massive majority in Parliament and propose legislation

Brussels, 11/03/2013

On 15 January 2013, the European Parliament supported a call for a legal instrument on anticipation of change and restructuring, proposed under Article 225 (Treaty of Lisbon). The report won a massive majority of support in the EP (503 for, 107 against and 72 abstentions). Recognition by directly elected representatives that legislative action is urgently needed at European level to address the anticipation of change and ensure effective management of restructuring, and yet the Commission has not reacted in any way to this historic vote.

As you are well aware, Europe is in the midst of a terrible recession. The difficulties in adapting to change, which were already significant in the face of globalisation, tackling climate change and enlargement of the EU, have increased with the economic crisis. The unpleasant reality is that with increasingly poor economic forecasts, public and private sector restructuring is likely to continue in the coming months”, states the letter from ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol.

BusinessEurope has publicly argued against legislation, but as Bernadette Ségol stresses, “Rather than stalling an exit from the crisis, a legal framework on the anticipation of change and restructuring at European level, as proposed by the EP, would provide one pillar in the long term recovery of the European economy, minimising the social costs of restructuring. The costs to business of poorly managed restructuring or non-anticipation, both in terms of the costs of those made redundant as well as the impact on those remaining in the company or workplace have significant negative economic impacts for firms”. This reality was confirmed by the European Parliament’s own impact assessment research.

- ETUC letter to Commission President José Manuel Barroso: