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28 January 2021Brussels

Towards a new European Social Fund supporting social inclusion, job opportunities and fighting poverty

On 28 January 2021, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the European Social Fund+ with a budget of €87 995 billion as part of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. Both the European Parliament as a whole and the Council have now to endorse the agreement.

This Fund has been investing in citizens for over 60 years contributing to social inclusion, job opportunities, fighting poverty, education, skills and the employability of young people, as well as in better living conditions, health and fairer societies.

The new ESF+ merges 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).

Some of the agreed measures are:

  • Guaranteed investments in countries with many children at high risk of poverty;
  • At least 3 % of the budget to be spent on food aid and basic material assistance;
  • A quarter of the funding goes to social inclusion, including integration of third country nationals;
  • 25% of the funds will be earmarked for social inclusion, including the socio-economic integration of disadvantaged groups;
  • Adequate funding for capacity building for social partners in member states;
  • Safeguards to ensure that projects funded by EU money fully respect fundamental rights.


For further information, please consult this page.