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On a  proposal by Mr Flynn,  Commissioner responsible for Employment  and
Social Affairs,  the  European Commission  has  approved six  operational
programmes for  the development of human  resources and the promotion  of
employment  in the  new Federal  Länder, comprising  a federal  programme
supported by the European Social  Fund (ESF) for  all the new Länder  and
East  Berlin  and  an  ESF-managed  programme  for  each  Land  with  the
exception of Berlin.

The financial commitment amounts  to ECU 3.619 billion, more  than 25% of
the  resources provided  from the  European Union  Structural Funds under
the Community Support Framework approved on 29 July 1994.

Resources are to be distributed among the six programmes (which will  run
for six years (1994-1999) ) as follows:
                                     ECU million

                           Total    ESF      ERDF

 Mecklenburg-Western      362.176  314.390   47.786
 Brandenburg              471.912  396.666   75.246

 Saxony-Anhalt            590.598  540.062   50.536
 Thuringia                457.880  401.536   56.344

 Saxony                   659.812  334.007  325.805

 Federal programme       1076.241 1076.241    -

It  is  expected  that  these  programmes  will  bring  about  a  lasting
improvement in the employment situation and develop the  potential of the
workforce in the new Länder.

The  Structural Funds'  resources for  these operational  programmes will
mainly  be  used   in  workforce-related  measures  to  improve  economic
competitiveness and prevent  unemployment, and to improve integration and
employment among  those groups  with particular difficulties  in the  job
market. The latter aspect includes measures to improve  access to initial
training  and  the  transition into  the  job  market  for  young  people
(including Youthstart  measures), to improve employment and qualification
opportunities for  those unemployed  people who  are hard  to place,  the
long-term unemployed and  those facing exclusion from the job  market and
to improve vocational qualifications and the (re)integration of women  in
all sectors.  In conjunction  with these, support  will also be  given to
innovative  measures such  as pilot  and  demonstration  projects in  the
labour market, and  technical assistance measures will be carried  out in
support  of  programme management  and  the  evaluation of  the  measures

In this context, for example, the European Social Fund is to promote:
-    adaptation of qualifications
-    measures  in   support   of  the   establishment  of   self-employed
-    recruitment and familiarisation allowances
-    advice, training  and counselling  for young people  with regard  to
     the labour market

-    training of  in-house and external  instructors, including  those in
     the vocational training system
-    guidance,   advice,  further   training  and   retraining  for   the
     unemployed, in particular the long-term unemployed
-    linked qualification and working time schemes
-    qualification and  employment measures  for  women, including  child
     care facilities and other support measures.

In addition,  resources  from  the  European  Regional  Development  Fund
(ERDF) will be  used in individual  Länder to promote the  development of
the potential of the workforce, in particular for the establishment of:

-    training places in the trade and industry sector
-    training workshops and similar establishments in undertakings
-    training,  further training and retraining  establishments serving a
     number of undertakings
-    vocational schools run  by communal authorities or public non-profit
-    vocational education establishments.

Among other things,  the coordinated and concerted use of  resources from
both Structural  Funds in the  new Länder  should help to  increase their
effectiveness   and   provide   more  lasting   support   for  structural

While the  five operational  programmes  for the  individual Länder  make
provision  for the joint  use of  ESF and ERDF  resources, the horizontal
Federal programme  is co-financed exclusively  using ESF  resources. This
programme is  to be  carried out  on behalf  of  the Federal  authorities
mainly  by  the  Bundesanstalt  für Arbeit  through  the  Land employment
offices in close coordination with the competent Land  authorities. It is
expected that the  main points  of the programme  will be implemented  in
areas  outside  the  normal  scope  of  measures   under  the  Employment
Promotion Law  (Arbeitsförderungsgesetz) and  thereby provide  additional
support for  Federal and Land labour  market policy. The measures  relate
in particular  to social  and educational  monitoring,  the promotion  of
foreign languages  in vocational training  measures, placements  in other
Member  States in conjunction  with training measures, training in social
qualifications and other fields.

Finally, it should  be pointed out that the Commission  recently approved
other  integrated  programmes  managed  by  the  ERDF   or  the  European
Agriculture Guidance  and Guarantee  Fund (EAGGF) which also  involve the
application  of  considerable  ESF  resources  in  support  of the  other
objectives  set out in  the Community Support  Framework in  the field of
productive investment,  support for SMEs, the  promotion of research  and
development,  improvement of  the environment  and rural  development. In
all,  approximately 75%  of  the approximately  ECU  4.1 billion  in  ESF
resources available within  the Community Support Framework are committed
under  the  programmes  approved  today,  while  the  remaining  25%  are
committed  through the  programmes carried out  under the  ERDF or  (to a
lesser extent) by the EAGGF.

Mr Flynn  welcomed the approval  of the  operational programmes and  said
"developing human resources  will help to achieve a more  flexible labour
market, higher productivity and in the longer term,  increased employment
and economic growth in the Eastern Länder".

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