Employment and social inclusion
Promoting the integration of all people in society, in particular those on the margins, is a fundamental goal of the EU. The social welfare and support systems in place across Europe reflect this shared value of social cohesion. Yet many groups of people in the Union are socially excluded – it could be because of a disability, because they are low-skilled, because they live in deprived areas with limited access to services or because of health problems.
This extends to employment where some people find it difficult to get a job. Migrants and ethnic minorities, such as the Roma populations, are often subject of discrimination which further increases the risk of social exclusion. Employment is a key factor in promoting social inclusion, but disadvantaged individuals often need more comprehensive support strategies, which may include personalised support, also targeting the families.
Promoting more and better jobs, supporting the integration and participation of disadvantaged groups, and developing an inclusive society accessible to all, are overarching objectives which underpin EU investment. A large part of European Social Fund (ESF) investment in the 2007-2013 period, aims at promoting access to employment and social inclusion for various groups. Special emphasis is given to younger and older workers, migrants and ethnic minorities. Specific actions are also aimed at women to help get them into work, reduce gender-based segregation of the labour market and better reconcile work and private life.