Adoption of the ESF Regulation by the European Parliament
One day after the adoption of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, the European Parliament has today adopted the regulation on the European Social Fund (ESF) as well as the Common Provision Regulation for all European Structural and Investment Funds.
The ESF will be instrumental in helping Member States to respond to the Union's priorities and recommendations for national policy reforms in the fields of active labour market policies, social inclusion and employment policies, institutional capacity and public administration reform.
What are the main changes for the ESF?
From 2014, the role of the ESF will be reinforced:
- A critical mass of human capital investment will be ensured through a minimum guaranteed share of the ESF within the cohesion policy funding in each Member State. Together with the 3 billion € special allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative, this means that more than 74 billion € will be invested in Europe's people over the next 7 years;
- Allocating at least 20% of the Fund to social inclusion will mean that people in difficulties and those from disadvantaged groups will get more support to have the same opportunities as others to integrate into the society;
- Promoting equality between women and men and equal opportunities for all without any discrimination will be integrated in all actions and also supported through specific initiatives;
- A greater emphasis is placed on combating youth unemployment. The Youth Employment Initiative will help young people not in employment, education or training in regions experiencing youth unemployment rates above 25%. At least €6 billion will come in support of Member States' efforts to put their Youth guarantee implementation plans in practice;
- Concentrating funding for achieving results: the ESF will focus its interventions on a limited number of priorities in order to ensure a sufficiently high critical mass of funding to make a real impact in addressing Member States' key challenges.
- Greater support will be provided to social innovation, i.e. testing and scaling up innovative solutions to address social, employment and education needs;
- The ESF will be implemented in close cooperation between public authorities, social partners and bodies representing the civil society at national, regional and local levels throughout the whole programme cycle;
- The European Social Fund will be at the forefront of innovative managing rules to simplify implementation of projects. The Commission is helping Member States to simplify ESF implementation in order to focus more on the results and make ESF easier and safer for the beneficiaries.
More about the ESF 2014-2020