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European Social Fund: €11.8 billion to foster employment, training and education in Spain concludes adoption of all 187 programmes

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op maandag 21 december 2015.

With €86.4 billion from the ESF, €3.2 billion from the YEI and another €38.5 billion of co-funding from national funds, the ESF plays a fundamental role in supporting Member States' investment in human capital and thereby in strengthening the competitiveness of the European economy as it emerges from the crisis.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen commented: "The European Social Fund gives millions of Europeans better job opportunities and a chance to develop their skills. I am confident that this programme will make a positive difference to many people in Spain where unemployment - and especially youth unemployment- remains a pressing challenge."

Under the adopted national Operational Programme "Employment, Training and Education", Spain will invest €3.0 billion, €2.1 billion of which are from the EU budget and the rest from national resources, to improve employment, training and education in Spain.

In addition to the Spanish national programme, ten operational programmes (for regions: Andalusia, Aragon, Balearic Islands, Canarias, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid, Valencia and "Technical Assistance") were also adopted. All the ESF and Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) investment of €11.8 billion for Spain, of which €8.5 billion is from the EU budget and the rest from national resources, can start to be implemented without further delay.

The national programme for Spain will help to:

  • Reduce difficulties in finding employment for vulnerable groups.
  • Increase employment and job quality, and eliminate factors of inequality between men and women.
  • Decrease the risk of poverty.
  • Improve education and training and reduce early school leaving.

The national programme links different policy areas and favours synergies between the ESF and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It puts a particular emphasis on supporting the long-term unemployed and those furthest from the labour market, as well as on equal gender opportunities.

More than 1,000,000 people are expected to take part in projects financed by the programme concerning employment, such as incentive to indefinite contracts, orientation, for employment, promoting entrepreneurship or dual vocational training

Projects in the field of education target more than 500,000 people, and include increasing the offer of vocational training or fighting early school leaving.

In addition, some 100,000 people are to take part in projects related with social inclusion and reduction of the risk of poverty, such as integrated paths for social inclusion.

Finally, the national programme will stimulate effective social innovation solutions to tackle social needs and promote transnational cooperation between social partners.


Every year the ESF assists over 15 million people by helping them to upgrade their skills, facilitating their integration into the labour market, combating social exclusion and poverty and enhancing the efficiency of public administrations.

In 2014-2020, for the first time in the history of EU Cohesion Policy, a minimum budget representing at least 23.1% (at EU level) within Cohesion Policy funding has been allocated to the ESF.

The ESF is one of the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). From 2014, these operate under a common framework and pursue complementary policy objectives. They are the main source of investment at EU level to help Member States to restore and increase growth and ensure a job rich recovery while ensuring sustainable development, in line with the Europe 2020 objectives.

For more information

ESIF open data portal with information on all funds and programmes

European Social Fund website

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