Europe is home to the most equal societies in the world, the highest standards in working conditions, and broad social protection. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017 at the Gothenburg Summit. The Pillar sets out 20 key principles which represent the beacon guiding us towards a strong social Europe that is fair, inclusive and full of opportunity in the 21st century.
The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), with EUR 88 billion, will be the EU’s main instrument to support the implementation of the Social Pillar and achieve the three EU headline targets adopted at the Porto Social Summit in May 2021. The implementation of the Social Pillar principles and the challenges identified in the country-specific recommendations adopted in the context of the European Semester will be the basis for Member States to prepare their ESF+ operational programmes.