Transnational cooperation on the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) has a long- standing and successful history. It aims to foster the replication of initiatives that work well and increase the scale of innovative practices. Transnational cooperation also focuses on improving social cohesion and economic recovery after the COVID-19 related crisis. These areas are crucial for the wellbeing of people across Europe.
ESF Transnational Cooperation Platform
To foster transnational cooperation, the European Commission launched the ESF Transnational Cooperation Platform in 2020. The platform builds on work conducted by nine thematic networks operating between 2015 and 2019. It aims to:
- Improve cooperation between stakeholders in all Member States – sharing information, knowledge, and experience with the aim to develop joint solutions to common challenges
- Build the capacity, skills, and confidence of managing authorities and other stakeholders to apply new knowledge and transfer practices with the support of peers from other countries
- Inform EU and national employment policies and reforms, harnessing experiences from the ground
Communities of Practice
To increase the thematic focus and concentrate on ESF implementation, four Communities of Practice have been created. These enable members to share concerns, problems or passions about a topic, allowing deeper knowledge and expertise. They also empower members to help each other to solve problems by applying a practical approach.
Find out more about each community of practice and the activities undertaken by the Transnational Cooperation Platform:
- Community of Practice: Employment, Education and Skills
- Community of Practice: Results-based Management
- Community of Practice: Social Inclusion
- Community of Practice: Social Innovation
Online information and networking
The ESF Transnational Cooperation Platform has an essential aim: mutual learning. It provides the possibility to actively participate in study visits, peer reviews, peer-to-peer trainings, workshops, webinars, and EU-level conferences tailored to your interests and needs.
The aim of this peer workshop was to explore opportunities for enhancing and reinforcing capacity building of social partners with ESF+ support. Building upon the social partner peer review held in Brussels in June 2019, the workshop included representatives of the social partners and managing authorities from Member States in which social partner capacity building has been identified as a key issue in the 2020 European Semester Country Reports. Using practices from Member States to generate discussion, the event focused on how learning from different national experiences of social partners capacity building could be maximised to ensure improvements in the 2021-27 programming period.
- Agenda: European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) Peer Workshop with Social Partners (2021) - English (195 KB - PDF)
- Executive summary: European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) Peer Workshop with Social Partners (2021) - English (187 KB - PDF)
Providing support to disadvantaged young people to be able to integrate into the labour market and society has become critically important as young people have been one of the hardest hit groups by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) initiative aims to support young people integrate in their home country following a supervised work experience in another EU country. It targets those who have difficulties finding a job, are in long-term unemployment, have insufficient school performance or vocational skills, a migration background, or live with disabilities. This webinar was an opportunity for ESF+ managing authorities and stakeholders to learn more about the new ALMA programme, existing support and tools including those available from TLN Mobility, and the next steps for this new initiative.
In preparation for the webinar, participants received several resources and background materials. These resources are available below:
- TLN Video Competition - English (YouTube)
- German programme IdA (2015 - 2021): Successful work with young people across borders - German (YouTube, with English subtitles)
- Coordinated Call on ESF Transnational Mobility Measures for Disadvantaged Youth and Young Adults. Manual of Guidance - English (428 KB - PDF)
- Unlocking Potential: A manual for successful transnational work with disadvantaged target groups (IdA - Intergration durch Austausch) - English (1.58 MB - PDF)
- Key facts: TLN-mobility network - English (82 KB - PDF)
- Presentation: ESF Transnational Programme. IdA - Integration through exchange - English (1.06 MB - PDF)
- Presentation: The Swedish ESF Council - Peer review on supporting disadvantaged young people to take part in mobility - English (221 KB - PDF)
- Coordinated Call on ESF Transnational Mobility Measures for Disadvantaged Youth and Young Adults. Mandatory Common Minimum Requirements - English (498 KB - PDF)
- Summary report: ESF TCP Peer Review on supporting disadvantaged young people to take part in mobility (2021) - English (173 KB - PDF)
The ‘Simplified cost options (SCO) peer-to-peer’ clinic was organised, as a joint workshop for the Communities of Practice on social innovation and results-based management, with the aim to support ESF+ managing authorities and stakeholders in designing SCO to simplify scaling up, replicating and scaling across social innovation initiatives within the ESF+. During the workshop, presentations, group and panel discussions focussed on:
Presenting the point of view of the European Commission on the relevance of social innovation and results-based management as policy objectives and on how to foster them under ESF+ programmes
Illustrating the key definitions of SCOs and main approaches to SCOs design and implementation
Presenting and discussing practices and lessons learned on setting up SCOs, results-based approaches and financing not linked to cost to promote social innovation, developed by ESF managing authorities.
Identifying key challenges and recommendations around the use of SCO and result-based approaches to foster social innovation.
The European Social Fund Transnational Cooperation Platform conference was an important milestone in acknowledging and promoting the work carried out by the members of the Communities of Practice over the past two years.
The conference gave also the opportunity to introduce the new setting to support transnational cooperation in the programming period 2021-2027 and ensure a smooth transition towards the ESF+ Social Innovation initiative, the new approach to foster transnational cooperation.
During the event, managing authorities and ESF+ stakeholders had the possibility to flag topics that they would like to keep discussing in the future as well as provide feedback about approaches and ways of working together in the four Communities of Practice.
Agenda: Transnational Cooperation event: building what works under the ESF+ – English (372 KB – PDF)
Conference graphic recording: Transnational Cooperation event: building what works under the ESF+ – English (7.07 MB – PDF)
Summary Report: Transnational Cooperation event: building what works under the ESF+ – English (1.85 MB – PDF)