European Social Fund

The ESF invests in people, with a focus on improving employment and education opportunities across the European Union. It also aims to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people at risk of poverty.

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The ESF investments cover all EU regions. More than € 80 billion is earmarked for human capital investment in Member States between 2014 and 2020, with an extra of at least € 3.2 billion allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative.

For the 2014-2020 period, the ESF will focus on four of the cohesion policy's thematic objectives:

  • promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
  • promoting social inclusion and combating poverty
  • investing in education, skills and lifelong learning
  • enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration

In addition, 20 % of ESF investments will be committed to activities improving social inclusion and combating poverty. This is known as thematic concentration.

To find out more: see the European Social Fund rules and the ESF website.

Telecentre for immigrants
Telecentre for immigrants (Belgium)