Opinion Factsheet  

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

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Opinion Number: CDR 6121/2017
Rapporteur: MARINI Catiuscia
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
On 30 May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on an enhanced European Social Fund Plus, taking on board several CoR recommendations from its opinion on the "Mid-term review of the ESF preparing the post-2020 proposal", such as:
Importance of a new legally binding Common Strategic Framework covering all EU policies, maintaining the existing multifund territorial delivery tools (CLLD and ITI): PARTLY ACCEPTED - although the CSF has been completely deleted from the CPR, the existing multifund territorial delivery tools (CLLD and ITI) have been maintained;
stronger results orientation and greater simplification: ACCEPTED
call for a c**loser relation between the proportion of socially excluded people and the allocation of resources: **ACCEPTED
need to strike a balance and avoid duplication between planned investments in social capital co-financed under the ESF and social, skills and human capital investment under a possible future InvestEU Fund: ACCEPTED
the importance for border regions of promoting true cross-border labour mobility by removing barriers in labour law and social security: PARTLY ACCEPTED - a specific support to employers and job-seekers (…) in certain sectors, professions, countries, border regions or for particular groups should be provided through the EaSI strand under direct and indirect management
the need to coordinate the strategies and objectives that should exist between the Social Pillar and the ESF; urge that within the 20 key principles contained in the Pillar, those which are relevant should be reflected in the programmes supported by the ESF: ACCEPTED
the principles of the social pillar should be implemented in the context of ESF programming with due regard for the need to develop integrated measures that reflect specific subnational situations and medium-term EU job market trends: PARTLY ACCEPTED - the principles of the EPSR will be inserted through a closer link to the European Semester and by taking on board relevant CSRs. However, subnational needs and issues are still not sufficiently into relevant CSRs
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- 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.