European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) 2021-2027 FSE+ Open!


The ESF+ aims to support Member States and regions to achieve high employment levels, fair social protection and a skilled and resilient workforce ready for the future world of work, as well as inclusive and cohesive societies aiming to eradicating poverty and delivering on the principles set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
The ESF+ shall support, complement and add value to the policies of Member States to ensure equal opportunities, equal access to the labour market, fair and quality working conditions, social protection and inclusion, in particular focussing on quality and inclusive education and training, lifelong learning, investment in children and young people and access to basic services.
The ESF+ shall support the following specific objectives in the policy areas of employment and labour mobility, education, social inclusion, including contributing to poverty eradication, and thereby also contributing to the policy objective ‘a more social and inclusive Europe implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights’:

  1. improving access to employment and activation measures for all jobseekers, in particular young people, especially through the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, for long-term unemployed and disadvantaged groups on the labour market, and for inactive people, as well as through the promotion of self-employment and the social economy;
  2. modernising labour market institutions and services to assess and anticipate skills needs and ensure timely and tailor-made assistance and support for labour market matching, transitions and mobility;
  3. promoting a gender-balanced labour market participation, equal working conditions, and a better work-life balance including through access to affordable childcare, and care for dependent persons;
  4. promoting the adaptation of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change, active and healthy ageing and a healthy and well-adapted working environment that addresses health risks;
  5. improving the quality, inclusiveness, effectiveness and labour market relevance of education and training systems including through validation of non-formal and informal learning, to support acquisition of key competences including entrepreneurial and digital skills, and by promoting the introduction of dual-training systems and apprenticeships;
  6. promoting equal access to and completion of quality and inclusive education and training, in particular for disadvantaged groups, from early childhood education and care through general and vocational education and training, to tertiary level, as well as adult education and learning, including facilitating learning mobility for all and accessibility for persons with disabilities;
  7. promoting lifelong learning, in particular flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all taking into account entrepreneurial and digital skills, better anticipating change and new skills requirements based on labour market needs, facilitating career transitions and promoting professional mobility;
  8. fostering active inclusion with a view to promoting equal opportunities, non-discrimination and active participation, and improving employability, in particular for disadvantaged groups;
  9. promoting socio-economic integration of third-country nationals, including migrants;
  10. promoting the socio-economic integration of marginalised communities, such as Roma people;
  11. enhancing equal and timely access to quality, sustainable and affordable services, including services that promote the access to housing and person-centred care including healthcare; modernising social protection systems, including promoting access to social protection, with a particular focus on children and disadvantaged groups; improving accessibility including for persons with disabilities, effectiveness and resilience of healthcare systems and long-term care services;
  12. promoting social integration of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, including the most deprived persons and children;
  13. addressing material deprivation through food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived persons, including children, and providing accompanying measures supporting their social inclusion.


 Social innovative actions

  1. Member States shall support actions of social innovation and social experimentation, including actions with a socio-cultural component or strengthening bottom-up approaches based on partnerships involving public authorities, the social partners, social enterprises, the private sector and civil society.
  2. Member States may support the scaling up of innovative approaches tested on a small scale and developed under the EaSI strand and other Union programmes.
  3. Innovative actions and approaches may be programmed under any of the specific objectives
  4. Member States shall dedicate at least one priority to the implementation of paragraph 1 or 2, or both. The maximum co-financing rate for such priorities may be increased to 95 % for a maximum of 5 % of the national resources under the ESF+ strand under shared management.
  5. Member States shall identify, either in their programmes or at a later stage during implementation, fields for social innovation and social experimentation that correspond to specific needs of Member States.
  6. The Commission shall facilitate capacity building for social innovation, in particular through supporting mutual learning, establishing networks, and disseminating and promoting good practices and methodologies.

The EaSI strand may support the following actions:

  1. analytical activities, including in relation to third countries, in particular:
    1. surveys, studies, statistical data, methodologies, classifications, micro-simulations, indicators and support for European-level observatories and benchmarks;
    2. social experimentation evaluating social innovations;
    3. monitoring and assessment of the transposition and application of Union law;
  2. policy implementation, in particular:
    1. cross-border partnerships, in particular between public employment services, the social partners and civil society, and support services in cross-border regions;
    2. a Union-wide labour-targeted mobility scheme at Union level to fill job vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified;
    3. support for microfinance institutions and institutions providing finance to social enterprises, including through blending operations such as asymmetric risk sharing or the reduction of transaction costs, as well as support for the development of social infrastructure and skills;
    4. support for transnational cooperation and partnership with a view to transferring and scaling up innovative solutions;
  3. capacity building, in particular of:
    1. networks at Union level related to the policy areas;
    2. national contact points providing guidance, information and assistance related to the implementation of the EaSI strand;
    3. the administrations, social security institutions and employment services responsible for promoting labour mobility, of microfinance institutions and institutions providing finance to social enterprises or other social investment actors, as well as networking, in Member States or third countries associated to the EaSI strand;
    4. stakeholders, including the social partners and civil society organisations, in view of transnational cooperation;
  4. communication and dissemination activities, in particular:
    1. mutual learning through exchange of good practices, innovative approaches, results of analytical activities, peer reviews, and benchmarking;
    2. guides, reports, informative material and media coverage of initiatives related to the policy areas;
    3. information systems disseminating evidence related to the policy areas;
    4. events of the Presidency of the Council and conferences, seminars and awareness-raising activities

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the programme is:

  • 87.995,10 Million EUR (Global Budget)