Last night, negotiators from the European Parliament and the Member States agreed on the design of the new European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).
“This is a positive and balanced deal. Thanks to the European Parliament, the almost €90 billion of the ESF+ will target those who really need it: people without a job, those who want to improve their skills, children in poverty, and young people who should be given the opportunity to work, train and study. The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving severe social and economic consequences in all the EU’s Member States, so this money is urgently needed”, said EPP Group MEP David Casa, who led the negotiations on behalf of the European Parliament.
The ESF+ is the EU’s main financial instrument to support Member States in the fields of employment, education and skills and social inclusion. In the 2021-2027 period, the ESF+ will be allocated a budget of €87.995 billion.
Casa added: “I am happy that we have secured funding for children in poverty and to fight youth unemployment.”
The informal deal still needs to be endorsed by Member States and the European Parliament: “I urge both the European Parliament and the Council to approve the deal as soon as possible so that the money can start to make an impact. This is a huge programme, so the sooner it can start, the better”, concluded Casa.
The new ESF+ is a merger of the existing 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).