On 23 May 2014, the Commission adopted the Partnership Agreement with Poland, paving the way for over € 13 billion (current prices) in European Social Fund (ESF) funding in the next seven years.
The Partnership Agreement sets down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the country's regions, cities and people. The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.
The ESF in Poland will put a clear emphasis on investment in human capital. A comprehensive individual and demand-driven approach will be developed to increase the employability of the people most in need on the labour market. This will mainly happen through the support of concrete active labour market policy tools, enhancement of entrepreneurship, and focus on up-grading of skills and acquisition of new qualifications. This individual approach will be expanded to encompass activities aiming at the social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups.
Support to education will concentrate on building partnerships with enterprises and labour market institutions in order to adapt to labour market needs and enable individuals to gain the key and transversal competences through participation in lifelong learning. ESF funding will help Poland to implement the Youth Guarantee and enhance access to good-quality childcare and pre-school education to enable women to get back into the labour market.
A considerable amount of ESF is also dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the public administration and public services in Poland with a special emphasis on improving Poland's business environment.
Again, in 2014-2020 Poland is the largest beneficiary of cohesion policy funding with €77.6 billion for the ESF, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund.
The share of the ESF amounts to €13.2 billion. This will be invested as follows:
|Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility||€ 5 032 446 285|
|Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination||€ 2 673 616 270|
|Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning||€ 3 439 718 091|
|Enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration||€ 188 979 120|
|Technical assistance||€ 1 186 872 322|
|Mobility programmes social innovation, transnational cooperation||€ 670 532 150|
|Total||€ 13 192 164 238|
In Poland, the ESF will be delivered through one national Operational Programme (OP) "Knowledge, Education and, Development", co-financed by the ESF, as well as 16 regional multi-fund OPs co-financed by the ESF and the ERDF.
The Commission and Poland are currently negotiating these OPs, to be adopted very soon. They will be breaking down the objectives of the Partnership Agreements into investment priorities and concrete actions and will allow selecting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the individual projects according to the priorities and targets agreed with the Commission.