Opinion Factsheet  

Mid-term review of the ESF preparing the post-2020 proposal

Opinion Number: CDR 6121/2017
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 22/03/2018
draw lessons from the current implementation of the European Social Fund
put forward policy recommendations for the next post-2020 programming period well in time before the European Commission presents the actual proposal for the next MFF in May 2018
allow the CoR to play a role in the ongoing inter-institutional discussions on the future structure and content of the post-2020 MFF

- welcomes the measures put in place in the 2014-2020 period to strengthen the role of the ESF;

- stresses the particular importance of the European Pillar of Social Rights; underlines to this effect the need to coordinate the strategies and objectives that should exist between the Social Pillar and the ESF;

- considers it extremely important to ensure the necessary flexibility to be able to adapt ESF programming to any new challenges that might arise;

- firmly believes that in order to tackle these challenges the ESF should remain an integral part of the ESIF and a key element of regional cohesion policy;

- strongly rejects any proposal to link the ESF to a model of direct management by the European Commission, and also rejects any possibility of centralisation under the sole responsibility of Member States, unless this is stipulated by the institutional arrangements of the Member State;

- approves of the scenarios whereby other funds operating in the social and employment policy field are integrated into the ESF (ESF+ or umbrella fund), provided that this leads to the achievement of clear synergies and that these funds also follow the shared management model;

- acknowledges the importance of multifund territorial development instruments, rejecting all attempts to introduce a requirement for single fund programmes;

stresses the key role played by the ESF in responding to the employment, education and social inclusion guidance set out in the Country Specific Recommendations, calling for better alignment of a reformed European Semester and cohesion policy.