2014 was the first implementation year of the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). To ensure a high visibility and to respond to accountability needs, a report has been published on the performance of the EaSI programme, which consists of three axes: the Progress, EURES, and Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis.
With 25% of the overall Progress axis budget, EaSI supported the development and dissemination of high-quality comparative analytical knowledge, such as studies, periodicals, databases, methodologies and classifications. The outputs contributed for example to the country-specific recommendations, the Youth Guarantee and the Social Investment Package.
EaSI also facilitated effective and inclusive information sharing, mutual learning and dialogue through
- networks of experts,
- peer reviews,
- learning exchanges,
- communications campaigns
- other methods
38% of the overall Progress axis budget (€ 13.9 million) was used for these activities.
Nine in ten EaSI stakeholders claimed to have gained a better understanding of EU policies and objectives by participating in EaSI-funded events. Stakeholders include:
- officials from government institutions,
- representatives of civil society and social partners,
- university teachers,
- independent experts,
- EU officials.
The Programme provided financial support to test social and labour market policy innovations and a call for proposals was launched in April 2014.
In addition, 35% of the overall Progress axis budget (€ 12.6 million) was used to improve the financial capacities of EU and national organisations. This way organisations such as Caritas Europa or Eurodiconia were able to produce valuable policy inputs such a Crisis Monitoring Report and a policy brief outlining the main challenges older people have in accessing long-term care and how to deal with them.
Thanks to EaSI many job vacancies and applications with the corresponding information were made transparent for potential applicants and employers, mainly through the EURES job mobility portal. 33% or € 5.2 million of the overall budget under the EURES axis was used for this purpose, while 67% or € 10.6 million was invested in EaSI supported services ranging from pre-recruitment preparation to post-placement assistance ensuring a jobseeker's successful integration in the labour market.
Some interesting facts and figures:
- 0.85 million people visit the EURES Job Mobility Portal every month
- By March 2015, 146 450 CVs were available on the portal
- Jobseekers from Italy and Spain were the most active
- A total of 2508 companies were searching for employees through the EURES portal
- Most available vacancies: Germany (414 331), United Kingdom (148 909) and Finland (142 494)
- EURES advisers across Europe had 947 489 personal contacts: 90% with jobseekers/workers and 10% with employers.
- 31 056 placements (around 3%) resulted from the consultations with jobseekers.
Microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis
Activities under this axis had not started in 2014; one of the reasons is that the previous programme is still ongoing and will continue its activities until 2016. The EaSI monitoring report for 2014 therefore presents information on the performance of Progress Microfinance.
In 2014, the Commission was negotiating the design of the new funding instruments with the European Investment Fund. More than € 28.4 million was set aside for implementing these instruments in the coming year.
Financial instruments under EaSI will be modelled upon the previous experience with Progress Microfinance: guarantees and funding will be provided to financial intermediaries in order to foster their incentives to on-lend the money to final beneficiaries.