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Towards a More Effective and Efficient ESF

Florian Hauser, Elsa Kmiecik, Plamen Kolev, Resa Koleva, Bartosz Otachel, Marie-Anne Paraskevas, Maeva Roulette

The European Social Fund (ESF) plays a key role in a period where we continue facing the far reaching consequences of the economic and financial crisis which heavily impact the labour markets and the personal lives of many people in the Member States. Eventually, in 2014 a modest return to economic growth is expected. Various indicators are improving but others are still not going in the right direction. Unemployment remains at distressingly high levels. Even if some stabilisation was observed in recent times, in fact over 26 million people are unemployed in Europe, among which more than 5.5 million are young people. Measures established during the past years to fight the economic crisis have had a positive impact, but a lot still remains to be done: The signs of recovery are fragile, and Europe has many pressing issues to contend with, amongst which the most urgent is reducing youth unemployment. Investment in skills is a key driver for economic growth and competitiveness, therefore the ESF is the European Union’s key instrument for investing in people. It focuses on active labour market and social inclusion measures, as well as on education and public administration reform.


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