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Agreement Reached on the 2021-2027 European Social Fund+

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the EU Social Fund+ (ESF+) that contributes to social inclusion, job opportunities and fighting poverty on 29th of January. The new ESF+, which is part of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, will amount to EUR 87 995 billion at 2018 prices.




European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the EU Social Fund+ (ESF+) that contributes to social inclusion, job opportunities and fighting poverty on 29th of January. The new ESF+, which is part of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, will amount to EUR 87 995 billion at 2018 prices. A quarter of the funding goes to social inclusion, including the integration of third-country nationals and the investments are guaranteed in countries with many children at high risk of poverty with ESF+.


  • Supporting youth and children at risk of poverty


According to the agreement, EU countries where the number of children at high risk of poverty is above the EU average would have to spend at least 5% of the resources of the ESF+ on actions leading to equal access for children to free healthcare, free schooling, free childcare, decent housing and sufficient nutrition. Other member states also have to allocate part of their funds to beating child poverty.


In their budget programs, all Member States will have to address youth unemployment, an issue that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In countries where the number of young people not currently in employment, education or training (NEET) is higher than the EU average, 12.5% of the fund would be spent to reduce youth unemployment. There can be initiatives such as vocational education and training, in particular apprenticeships and the transition from school to work.


  • Helping those who need it most


The Parliament negotiated to have a budget dedicated to cope with extreme poverty in each member state. At least 3% will be spent on those who need it most through food and fundamental material assistance or by addressing material deprivation, which is defined as an inability to pay for unexpected expenses, adequate heating, nutritious meals or durable goods.


  • Other measures agreed

  • 25% of the funds, including socio-economic integration of disadvantaged groups, would be earmarked for social inclusion;

  • Adequate funding for capacity building for social partners in member states;

  • Safeguards to ensure that projects funded by EU money fully respect fundamental rights.

Rapporteur David Casa from European People Party said: “Today is a good day for Europe. We agreed to support workers, youth, children and students with almost €90 billion.

I am confident that this money will target those who really need it: people without a job, those who want to improve their skills, children in poverty, and youth who should be given all the opportunities to work, train and study. This is a clear example of how the European Union makes a concrete, positive impact in the lives of its citizens.”


Background


For over 60 years, the European Social Fund has been investing in citizens. It leads to social inclusion, economic prosperity, poverty alleviation, education, skills and the employability of young people, as well as to improved living conditions, wellbeing and fairer societies. At the same time, the individual projects and programmes developed must contribute to improving economic, social and territorial cohesion.

The new ESF+ merges the current European Social Fund (ESF), the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD) and the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI).


Source: European Parliament Press Room

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