EU proposes €1.9 million to support laid off Danish Crown workers

Since 2005, pigs slaughtered in Denmark decreased by 20%, due to shift from raising pigs for slaughter to raising piglets for export.

March 1, 2024

2 Min Read

The European Commission proposed to support 390 dismissed workers in the meat processing industry in Denmark with €1.9 million from the European Globalization Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers.

In December 2023, Denmark applied for EGF funding to help workers laid off by Danish Crown, after the meat company closed its slaughterhouse in Sæby, a town within the municipality of Frederikshavn.

The EGF support package includes advisory services, job search assistance and training. The training helps workers to reskill for different industries and services, and increase digital and other skills sought after by employers. Another focus will be on language skills, as 41% of the dismissed workers are not fluent in Danish. Workers will receive an allowance while engaged in training or job search.

The total estimated cost of these measures is €3.1 million, with 60% (€1.9 million) covered by the EGF and the remaining 40% (€1.2 million) financed by The Danish Business Authority, the municipalities of Frederikshavn, Aalborg, Hjørring and Brønderslev, which were affected by the dismissals, and by Danish Crown. Support for eligible workers started shortly after the dismissals.

The Commission’s proposal requires approval from the European Parliament and the Council.

Danish Crown is a group of food companies engaged in the butchery, processing and sale of pork and beef. Since 2005, the number of pigs slaughtered in Denmark decreased by 20%, largely due to the shift of many Danish farmers from raising pigs for slaughter to raising piglets for export at a lower economic cost.

As a result of this change, Danish Crown decided to close one of its six slaughterhouses in Denmark, laying off 390 workers. At the same time, the number of jobs in the affected region has declined. Given the level of formal qualifications and skills of most of the laid-off workers, they can benefit especially from targeted support measures to retrain and find new jobs.

Under the EGF regulation 2021-2027, the Fund supports displaced workers and self-employed people who have lost their activity. EGF support is available for people affected by all types of unexpected major restructuring events, including the economic effects of Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and other sources of geopolitical instability, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonization and automation. Member States can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.

Overall, since 2007, the EGF has made available €691 million in 178 cases, offering help to more than 168,000 people in 20 Member States. EGF-supported measures add to national active labor market measures.

Through its funding for the training and education of dismissed workers, the EGF contributes to the EU’s efforts to support skills development. The European Year of Skills puts skills center-stage, to support people so they get the right skills for quality jobs, and to help address skills shortages in the EU.

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