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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 5 August 2014

European Social Fund: 400 million euros to boost growth and jobs in Denmark

The European Commission has adopted today the Danish national Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund in the period 2014-2020. This programme outlines the priorities and objectives to spend €400 million (of which over 200 from the EU budget), or around 3 billion DKK, contributing to strengthening economic growth in all Danish regions and to achieving the EUROPE2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

"I warmly congratulate the Danish authorities for the good work that has allowed us to swiftly adopt the first European Social Fund Operational Programme covering the 2014-2020 period. We now have the roadmap to put ESF funding to the best use in the country. The ESF will contribute to helping people improve their skills and start their own business, thus boosting employment and productivity", Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, commented.

On 5 May 2014, the Commission adopted the Partnership Agreement with Denmark, which lays the basis for the use of all European Structural and Investment Funds in the country in 2014-20 (IP/14/51). Denmark was the first Member State to have its Partnership Agreement adopted. The ESF represents 50% of the total Cohesion Policy funding allocated to Denmark.

The total ESF allocation will be distributed among the following four priorities:

  • Vocational training and higher education: €150.3 million will be devoted to increase the number of vocational education participants, among both young people and adults;

  • Entrepreneurship and job creation: €144.7 million will be devoted to actions aiming at increasing self-employment and jobs in ESF-supported enterprises;

  • Inclusion through education and employment: €80.1 million will help those on the margins of the labour market to find a job. This amount represents the 20% that must be reserved for social inclusion;

  • Cross-border mobility: €5.6 million will fund actions to enhance transnational labour mobility.

There will be a strong regional approach, since the use of the ESF will be tailored to the specific needs of the different Danish regions. Denmark's Regional Growth Forums will decide the actual projects to be supported, in accordance with the four priorities listed above.


The European Social Fund (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 is emerging from the crisis. 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 - see MEMO/14/84.

For more information

Danish ESF Operational Programme

European Social Fund website

László Andor's website

Follow László Andor on Twitter

Subscribe to the European Commission's free e-mail newsletter on employment, social affairs and inclusion

Contacts :

Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)

Cécile Dubois (+32 2 295 18 83)

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