APPENDIX 4: CALL FOR EVIDENCE|
EU Sub-Committee G (Social Policy and Consumer Affairs)
is conducting an Inquiry into the effectiveness of the 2007-13
European Social Fund (ESF) thus far, and how it might be amended
and resourced in the future.
The European Social Fund (ESF),
worth 75 billion over the period 2007-13 (out of a total
budget of 862 billion), is one of the EU's "Structural
Funds", set up to reduce differences in prosperity and living
standards across EU Member States and regions, and therefore promoting
economic and social cohesion.
When the overall EU budget for 2007-13 was agreed
in 2005, it was decided that a "budget review" should
be undertaken in 2009, with a view to informing the spending priorities
in the next financial programming period (2014-2020). A first
consultation document was published by the Commission in 2007
and another one is expected in late 2009. As one of the largest
single spending programmes, the ESF will be an important consideration
in the review.
The European Commission considers the ESF an important
tool at Member States' disposal to help tackle the effects of
the global financial crisis. It made a number of suggestions to
that effect in its Communication, A Shared Commitment for Employment,
published on 3 June 2009. That Communication also makes it clear
that the ESF is likely to have an important role in the post-2010
Strategy for Growth and Jobs, which includes the European Employment
Our objectives are threefold:
· To make recommendations on short term
changes that might be made to the European Social Fund to allow
it to respond effectively to the evolving challenges raised by
the financial crisis;
· To assess the contribution that the ESF
can make in the medium term to the post-2010 Strategy for Growth
and Jobs, including the European Employment Strategy;
· To make recommendations on the long term
role and functioning of the European Social Fund, within the context
of the EU budget review.
Particular questions to which we invite you to respond
are as follows:
Objectives and funding
(1) What is your view of the current objectives
of the European Social Fund? Does the available funding align
with those objectives? How appropriate do you consider the balance
of projects funded by the ESF to be (for example the volume of
projects designed to increase the adaptability of workers as compared
to those designed to reinforce the social inclusion of disadvantaged
Delivery and effectiveness of the ESF
(2) What has been your experience with the operating
rules of the ESF?
What has worked well? What problems have you encountered and how
might the process be improved?
(3) How effective do you consider the ESF to
be? How is that effectiveness being monitored? And how is that
information on effectiveness being shared and used?
(4) How successfully have national and regional
administrations worked together in delivering the ESF, where appropriate?
Short term: Use of the ESF to respond to the financial
(5) How useful has the ESF been as a tool to
respond to the financial crisis? How might its usefulness in responding
to the current crisis be improved, and how might it be amended
to ensure that it is able to respond more effectively to a changing
economic climate in the future?
Medium term: the ESF 2010-2014
(6) How might the potential of funds deployed
via the ESF to promote life-long learning, skills for new jobs,
security of employment and flexible labour markets across the
UK and EU be improved?
(7) What contribution can the ESF make to the
EU's renewed Jobs and Growth Strategy post-2010, including the
European Employment Strategy? How can the EU best contribute to
"jobs and growth" in the period 2010-2014?
Long termthe ESF post-2013, and the EU
(8) Bearing in mind the depressed economic context
and the EU's budget review which is intended to consider spending
priorities post-2013, what do you consider the role of the ESF
should be, if any, post-2013? On what sort of priorities should
it focus, and how might it most effectively complement, rather
than duplicate, other spending programmes?
Interested parties are invited to submit a concise
statement of written evidence to this inquiry by Friday, 2 October
32 Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 of 5 July 2006 on the
European Social Fund Back
SEC(2007)1188 12.9.2008 Back
COM(2009)552 3.6.2009 Back
Where applicable, please refer to the principle of additionality.
Such as: the European Regional Development Fund; the Cohesion
Fund; the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; and
the European Fisheries Fund. Back