The eighth European Social Fund (2014-2020)
The eighth European Social Fund funding period, lasting through to 2020, was characterised by:
- close alignment with the European Growth and Employment Strategy "Europe 2020"
- thematic concentration of funding to achieve the Europe 2020 goals and the goals set out in the National Reform Programme
- consideration of the European Council recommendations on employment.
To implement the goals, Germany submitted the "German federal Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund in the funding period 2014-2020" (Federal ESF OP), which was approved by the European Commission on 21 October, 2014. This Operational Programme layed the foundation for ESF funding in Germany through to 2020. Led by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the following ministries were also involved in the development and delivery of the German Federal ESF OP: Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.
In this funding period, the focus of the ESF was on helping to secure the supply of skilled workers, promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. Other priority areas included supporting self-employment, ensuring a healthy work-life balance and improving the level of educational attainment and life-long learning.
The three thematic objectives were:
The main target groups were disadvantaged young people, particularly those without a school-leaving or vocational qualification, the long-term unemployed, women and workers, particularly low-skilled or low-income workers, and people from a migrant background, especially those facing difficult personal circumstances (e.g. refugees).
In the funding period 2014-2020, the ESF has already reached EU-wide around 20 million people who were unemployed or inactive, supported around 10 million members of disadvantaged groups and more than 520,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. ESF-funded measures always address key socio-economic challenges in the Member States and regions, while also reflecting the development of the European Union’s employment and social policy agenda.
Designing. The Future. Together.
The ESF allows individuals to take control of their professional future, even if their circumstances are difficult or they are making a second attempt to get their career off the ground. It helps small and medium-sized businesses adapt their HR policy to the challenges posed by demographic change. The ESF wants to create an inclusive society. "Designing. The Future. Together" was therefore the slogan of this ESF funding period 2014-2020 of the Federal Government in Germany.