Working on Europe`s social face
Under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the conference "Durchstarten! The European Social Fund Plus for Germany" launched the new ESF Plus funding period for the federal level on 12 January 2023. Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Hubertus Heil, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, opened the conference.
The European Social Fund (ESF) is the European Union’s most important tool for the promotion of employment in Europe. Programmes and projects funded by the ESF give people new, individual opportunities and the possibility to take control of their professional future. The 28 federal funding programmes aim to improve vocational training and labour market opportunities for young people and people with a migration background, develop professional upskilling programmes for people in employment, assist disadvantaged families, help the most deprived persons, back small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in securing skilled labour and support founders of new businesses.
Hubertus Heil, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, said:
The European Social Fund Plus stands for social cohesion and strong social welfare in Europe. We are confronted with major socio-economic challenges, which are profoundly changing the everyday lives and work of people in Europe. With this in mind, the federal ESF Plus will invest in individuals and make the social dimension of Europe tangible. In Germany, all relevant players are involved in the ESF Plus in a spirit of partnership: the Länder, the social partners and civil society organisations."
Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, explained:
The European Social Fund Plus makes a vital contribution to helping people find new and better jobs and providing a reliable safety net for the most vulnerable members of society. This is why the ESF Plus is a key instrument for the implementation of shared European goals in the areas of employment, lifelong learning and poverty eradication."
At the event launching the ESF Plus, practitioners discussed best practices from the past funding period and prospects for the implementation of the priorities of the ESF Plus for the new funding period.
From 2014 - 2020, roughly 2.7 million people benefited from various ESF programmes. During the same period, more than 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises received support and advice.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is leading efforts to implement the federal ESF Plus programme, but works together with other federal ministries in this regard.
On 5 May 2022, the federal ESF Plus Programme became the European Union’s first ESF Plus programme to be approved by the European Commission.
In Germany, the Federation and the Länder will receive a total of around 6.56 billion euros from the ESF in the period up to 2027. Around 2.22 billion euros will flow into the ESF Plus federal programme and around 4.34 billion euros into the ESF Plus activities of the Länder. The ESF programmes receive co-funding from the Federation and the Länder.