On Thursday, the Parliament and the Council reached an interim agreement on the European Social Fund+, which contributes to social inclusion, job creation and the fight against poverty. The new ESF+, which is part of the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027, will amount to €87 995 billion in 2018 prices.
According to the agreement, Member States where the number of children at high risk of poverty exceeds the EU average will have to devote at least 5% of ESF+ resources to measures contributing to children’s equal access to free health care, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. In addition, other Member States will have to allocate part of their funds to the fight against child poverty.
All Member States will need to address youth unemployment in their spending programmes, a problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In countries where the number of young people not working, not in education or not currently in training (NEET rate) exceeds the EU average, 12.5% of funds will be devoted to tackling youth unemployment. These measures will range from education and vocational training, especially traineeships, to the transition between studies and working life.