Brussels, 5 December 2013
Employment and social inclusion: Commission welcomes Council adoption of €920 million EaSI programme
The European Commission welcomes today's adoption of the new EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) by the EU's Council of Ministers. EaSI will make €920 million available for the 2014-2020 period. It will support innovative social policies and promote labour mobility, as well as facilitate access to microcredits and encourage social entrepreneurship. The European Parliament formally adopted the new EaSI Regulation on 21 November 2013, so the programme is now ready to be launched on 1 January 2014.
EaSI integrates and extends the coverage of three existing financial instruments: Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (Progress), the European network of Public Employment Services EURES and the European Progress Microfinance Facility.
"This integrated approach will increase the coherence and impact of these instruments. EaSI, notably via its focus on innovative projects, will be vital for better contributing to the Europe 2020 Strategy for Jobs and Growth", EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said.
The three components of EaSI will receive the following allocations:
A specific budget of around €100 million will be devoted to test new solutions for employment and social policies in critical areas such as youth employment or inclusion. The most successful can be implemented with the support of the European Social Fund (ESF).
The EURES portal will be modernised and targeted schemes such as the successful pilot project Your First EURES Job will be further developed.
Labour mobility can help to address current imbalances in the European labour markets, in particular labour and skills shortages that coexist with high levels of unemployment. This is why the Commission will adopt new reforms of EURES on 16th December, aimed at further improving its efficiency.
According to the last annual report on Progress Microfinance (IP/13/827), more than 6000 entrepreneurs have already benefitted from loans worth a total of almost €50 million since the facility was launched in 2010.
Together with the ESF, the Fund for the European Aid for the most Deprived and the European Globalisation adjustment Fund, EaSI forms the fourth pillar of the EU Initiative for Employment and Social Inclusion 2014-2020.
The Commission proposed EaSI in 2011 with the aim of integrating three programmes that share common objectives to ensure their complementarity and reinforce its effectiveness in the next financial period. The European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on EaSI in June (MEMO/13/628).
For more information
News item on DG Employment website:
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