Croatia is combining ESF and ERDF funding to build a job-rich and more inclusive society as part of the country’s development strategy. Better education opportunities and more efficient public services are also targeted.
Across Europe and in Croatia the ESF is supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer living standards and job opportunities for all EU citizens. It is doing this by investing in Europe’s human capital – its workers, its young people, disadvantaged groups and all those seeking a job. Tens of thousands of ESF projects are active in Europe’s cities, towns, rural communities and neighbourhoods. They are opening doors to skills, to work, to qualifications and to a more inclusive society for all Europeans.
In terms of employment, the ESF is investing in projects to help people join and stay on the labour market. Making sure that people’s skills match the requirements of employers and industry is a key priority that training and career-guidance initiatives are addressing. Investments are helping the long-term unemployed to reintegrate into the workforce and young people and women are particular targets for entrepreneurship and self-employment measures. Croatia is aiming to raise employment levels to over 62% by 2020, in particular by focusing on young people through Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) investments. In addition, measures to promote health and safety at work are underway.
On social inclusion, Croatia is building better quality social services, promoting social enterprise and encouraging community-based provision of services for disadvantaged groups, such as the disabled and children in care. Croatia is aiming to reduce the number of people at-risk-of-poverty by 150 000, in particular through employment projects, such as social tourism in rural areas. These efforts are complemented by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) investments in related infrastructure, for example urban regeneration in conflict-damaged areas. The ESF and ERDF are also working together to deliver access to high-quality health services across Croatia, and in particular in rural and island regions.
The education system is getting ESF help to raise standards and improve outcomes. Tertiary education is a particular target and the ESF is helping to raise participation to 35% by 2020. Croatia is also using ESF funds to improve the capacities of public administration and the quality of public services, both for citizens and businesses. For an enhanced civil and social dialogue and better governance, the ESF will also support capacity building for civil society organisations, especially NGOs and social partners.