The EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation contributes to the following objectives:
- Promoting a high level of quality and sustainable employment,
- Guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection,
- Combating poverty and social exclusion and improving working conditions.
The European Union’s priorities have been detailed in the Europe 2020 strategy and are underpinned by employment and social headline targets for the current decade.
The programme will be provided €920 million in funding from the European Union and will run from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. The type and scope of the measures taken under the EaSI programme will be specified in annual work plans. The programme will be implemented by the European Commission. The Commission will be assisted in this connection by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States.
The EaSI programme integrates and extends three existing European financial instruments: the Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (Progress), the European network of Public Employment Services (EURES) and the European Progress Microfinance Facility.
Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (Progress)
Progress provides funding for measures to develop European policy approaches in the area of employment and social policy and supports Member States in connection with the development and implementation of political reforms. Progress also contributes to the Member States' implementation of EU regulations. The Progress programme additionally shapes the policy dialogue in the aforementioned areas at national, international and EU level. This entails supporting at national and EU level organisations that work to advance the policies and instruments of the European Union. And lastly, the Progress programme enables the testing of new concepts for employment and social strategies in areas of concern such as youth employment and inclusion. National, regional and local authorities as well as social partners and civil society organisations are involved in the implementation of these measures.
The Progress programme has approximately €550 million in funding (61% of the total budget) available to it for carrying out these activities.
European network of Public Employment Services (EURES)
EURES, the European network of Public Employment Services, contributes to the realisation of a functioning European labour market. More than 900 EURES advisers advise, inform and place workers who wish to take up employment in other EU countries. They likewise advise employers who would like to recruit workers from abroad, and place qualified job-seekers. Extensive information on occupational mobility and job openings can be accessed on the electronic EURES portal. The European Commission also offers targeted programmes to support worker mobility. These European-level measures are supplemented by services provided by the Member States.
EURES receives approximately € 160 million in funding (18% of the total budget).
Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship programme
The Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship programme assists microcredit providers and institutions that grant financial assistance to vulnerable groups and micro-enterprises. It additionally promotes the development of the social investment market and facilitates access to financing for social enterprises. These measures aim to offset disadvantages that hinder access to the conventional credit market. The programme supports persons on their way to self-employment and micro-enterprises during both the start-up and development phase. A particular focus of the funding provided in this connection will be on building up the institutional capacity of microcredit providers.
Some €200 million (21% of the total budget) have been made available for the programme.
The efforts undertaken in pursuit of the aims of the European Union’s Programme for Employment and Social Innovation will direct particular attention to vulnerable groups such as young people. The programme will additionally promote gender equality and combat all forms of discrimination.
The programme supplements and supports the instruments and activities being conducted in connection with the European Structural and Investment Funds.