€200 million earmarked for transnational cooperation, says Commission

€200 million earmarked for transnational cooperation, says Commission


Brussels, June 19, 2018– A total of €200 million will be earmarked for transnational cooperation activities in the next programming period of the European Social Fund (ESF), Marianne Thyssen, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, has pointed out.

Speaking at the opening session of a seminar organised by the Transnational Platform of the ESF: From ESF to ESF+: from employability to social rights, which took place in Brussels on 18 and 19 June, the Commissioner said the proposed earmarking will allow focus to be placed on “transferring and upscaling innovative solutions, streamlining management and supporting organisations and networks”.

Ms Thyssen also welcomed the fact that the Commission has “mainstreamed the support to the European Pillar of Social Rights across the future EU budget”. She concluded that everyone now needed to make sure that the ESF “fully deserves its plus'”.

A record 215 actors from 27 Member States, from ESF and beyond, gathered in Brussels yesterday and today to discuss the recent European Commission ESF+ proposal and explore new ways to strengthen transnational cooperation and enhance the ESF’s impact. 

Under the ESF+, 25% of the budget would be dedicated to social inclusion. Patricia Scherer from the Social Platform welcomed the earmarking but would have preferred a more ambitious share.

”Social inclusion should be about supporting social investments across the lifecycle to have an inclusive labour market and support people from early childhood right through old age,” she said.

Akos Topolanski, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supported civil society's call for 30% earmarking for social inclusion. 

Georgi Pirinski, a Bulgarian MEP from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament agreed that the most important aspect of the future ESF was social inclusion.

“Inequality is the basic challenge. Very expensive inequalities are persisting while new types of inequalities are appearing. We need to fight that pervasive and ever more persistent challenge of inequalities. Social inclusion is definitely the first step in tackling the fundamental changes we are facing”.

Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) said: “the fact that we have the European Pillar of Social Rights shows that social is back after ten years of under investment”.

“In our field, we don't have a pure market. If you bring out a bad programme people cannot buy another one; the only quality control mechanism is transnational benchmarking,” he said.

Andriana Sukova, Deputy Director of DG EMPL, closed the conference by stating: “Transnational cooperation is an important opportunity for Member States to work together, and to try new models. Thematic networks are about doing things together and connecting us to the reality of ESF on the ground. The transnational networks are doing a great job.”


Note to editors:

The Transnational Platformof the ESF helps European Social Fund users to work with partners in other countries. It is supported by the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and managed by AEIDL, the European Association for Information on Local Development. Over the last three years the Transnational Platformhas managed 9 Thematic Networks on the main themes of the ESF: Employment, Inclusion, Youth employment, Learning & Skills, Social economy, Governance & public administration, Simplification, Partnership and Migrants. It recently published thematic dossiers on:

  • Integrated Services
  • Co-production
  • Systems Thinking
  • Profiling and outreach to the Long –term Unemployed
  • The European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP)

For more information on the Transnational Platform:

To access the dossiers:

For more information about the ESF Transnational Platform Seminar:

For media enquiries, contact: Valentina CAIMI, Policy Adviser - ESF Transnational Platform: Mobile:+32 484 052396