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Shaping the future of the ESF - ESF and Europe 2020

23/06/2010 - 24/06/2010

The conference acknowledged past achievements of the ESF in supporting EU objectives, in particular the previous Growth and Jobs strategy and explored how the ESF could contribute in the most effective manner to the new Europe 2020 strategy.

Conference Report now available

The main objective of the Europe 2020 Strategy is to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This will require action at all levels, from the EU-level down to the local level. The European Social Fund will have to play a key role to support the Europe 2020 strategy. In this context the Commission had convened a high level conference on the contribution of the ESF to the Europe 2020 strategy. “Shaping the future of the ESF - ESF and Europe 2020”. 

23 June 2010

Moderator: Lenia Samuel, Deputy Director General, Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


Opening Session


Plenary Session: ESF Contribution to the 2020 strategy

In this plenary session the panellists explored the links the future ESF should have to the overarching EU policy objectives and notably to Europe 2020.

  • Daniel Tarschys, Professor of Political Science & Public Administration, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Xavier Prats-Monné, Director, Employment, Lisbon Strategy, International Affairs, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities
  • Jørgen Rønnest, Chairman, Social Affairs Committee, Business Europe
  • Józef Niemiec, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Conny Reuter, President, Social Platform

Discussant: Thomas Bender, Acting Director ESF, Coordination, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


Workshop 1 “Learning” (monitoring, evaluation, mutual learning, etc..)


This session was about how to maximise or facilitate learning in the formulation and implementation of ESF actions and about the role of the Commission in this and in facilitating mutual learning.

Chair: Antonella Schulte-Braucks,Head of Evaluation and Impact Assessment Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


  • Jacques Toulemonde, Partner and co-founder of Euréval, France
  • Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer, Director, Metis GmbH, Vienna, Austria
  • Carolyn Heinrich, Professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin Madison, USA
  • Göran Brulin, Senior analyst, Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Professor, University of Linköping, Sweden
  • Sven Jansson, National Coordinator "Evaluation and Monitoring", Swedish ESF Council, Sweden

Discussant: Robert Walker, Professor of Social Policy, Deputy Head of Department Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford



Workshop 2 ESF Complementarity and coordination with other EU policy instruments


This session explored how the ESF should relate to other EU policy instruments in order to avoid overlaps, ensure complementarity.

Chair: Peter Berkowitz, Head of Conception, forward studies and impact assessment Unit, DG Regional Policy


  • László Herczog, Expert, former Minister of Employment & Social Affairs, Hungary
  • Kadri Uustal, Counsellor, Economic & Financial Affairs, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
  • Duarte Rodrigues, Deputy Coordinator, NSRF Observatory, Portugal
  • Dianne Blank, Assistant Director, Education, Workforce & Income Security, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), USA (paper)

Discussant: Hélène Clark, Director, Lifelong Learning: policies and programme, DG Education and Culture



Workshop 3: More effective ESF


This workshop looked more specifically at the delivery systems and proportionality.

Chair: Santiago Loranca-Garcia, Head of Belgium, France and Slovakia Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


  • Michael Wiseman, Professor of Public Policy, The George Washington University, USA (paper)
  • Alessandra Tomai, Ministry of Labour, Health & Social Policy, Italy
  • Paweł Chorąży, Director, Department for European Social Fund Management, Ministry of Regional Development, Poland
  • Iva Šolcová, Director, Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Louis Vervloet, Director, ESF-Agency Flanders, Belgium

Discussant: Manuela Geleng, Head of Germany, Austria & Slovenia Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities



Workshop 4: Priorities and added value of ESF  (video 1 - video 2 )


This workshop looked more specifically than the second plenary session into possible priorities and scope of ESF and linked to that the question of added value.

Chair: Thomas Bender, acting Director ESF, Coordination, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


  • Aurelio Fernandez Lopez, Chair, Social Protection Committee
  • Tom Bevers, Vice Chair, Employment Committee
  • Philip J. O'Connell, programme coordinator of labour market research and head of Social Research Division, ESRI (abstract)
  • Ágota Scharle, executive partner, Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis Ltd. (paper)

Discussant: Radek Maly, Head of Employment Analysis Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


24 June 2010

Moderator: Peter Stub-Jorgensen, Director ESF, Monitoring of Corresponding National Policies II, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities


Workshops Feedback Session


The chairs of the four workshops held the previous afternoon, summarised the contributions and the ensuing debates


2 views of the future


Brian Burgoon, Senior lecturer political science department, Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pascale Gruny, Permanent rapporteur on the European Social Fund to the Employment Committee, President of the European Parliament Working Group on the European Social Fund Debate with participants


Closing session


Overview of the conference
Robert Verrue, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities

The way forward
László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Linn Ikoon Linn: Brüssel (Belgia )