The European Commission has approved an application from Belgium for assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The EUR9,593,931 requested by the Belgian authorities is to help 2,834 workers made redundant by General Motors Belgium - and four of its suppliers and downstream producers - back into employment. The application will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council (the EU's budgetary authority) for approval.

"Due to the economic and financial crisis the production of motor vehicles in Europe dropped dramatically and its workers are still experiencing hardship," said László Andor, EU commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

General Motors recently closed its Belgian plant in Antwerp as part of restructuring of its European unit.

The financial assistance is targeted at all 2,834 sacked workers and will help them with job search assistance, training and re-training, outplacement assistance and aid for business creation. The total estimated cost of the package is EUR14.7m of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of EUR9.6m.