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European Social Fund (ESF)

Established in 1958, the ESF is one of the EU's main financial instruments for supporting national policies that seek to increase employment and employment opportunities, improve quality and productivity at work, and reduce social exclusion and regional employment disparities.

As one of the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), the ESF works towards achieving the 11 thematic objectives set out for the ESIF in the 2014-20 programming period. In particular, the main priorities for the ESF are:

• Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility

• Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination

• Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning

• Enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration.