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Better public services

Reducing regulatory and administrative burdens and promoting high standards of transparency, integrity and accountability in public administration helps to increase productivity and strengthen competitiveness.

In less-developed Member States and regions, the public services responsible for developing employment-related strategies and their implementation may lack the capacities to do so in the right way and cost-effectively. For this reason, ESF projects are helping strengthen the efficiency of public administration in delivering public services in all sectors. Support is available under two priorities:

  • More effective institutions: boosting the quality of a broad range of services available to citizens, workers and job-seekers in their towns, cities and regions.
  • Partnerships for progress: helping the public authorities and stakeholders such as NGOs to work together design and deliver successful programmes.

ESF projects are offering improvements in a number of areas: for example, in the quality of civil servants who may need better training in both ‘back office’ and customer-facing roles; in the take-up of information technologies, where more use of IT might promote efficiency and information sharing; and the way the organisations approach their work that might benefit from a more ‘partnership’-oriented approach. Implementing e-government initiatives is an important feature of these improvements by making information more accessible to citizens and speeding up their dealings with their local and national authorities. These are just a few examples.


ESF support to better public services includes modernising labour market institutions such as employment offices and services as well as health sector institutions and others. Better education and training for civil servants and public sector workers is also supported. The ESF helps to improve the management of programme design and implementation – ensuring all viewpoints are heard. And workers’ organisations and NGOs active in employment, the health sector, education, social inclusion and equal opportunities are encouraged to take part and improve their own capacities.