On 16 January the European Parliament voted in the plenary on the strengthening of the European Social Fund. This was approved 548 vote to 81 (64 abstentions) and set out several changes in the long-term budget for the period 2021-27.
The budget will increase from approximately €89,6 billion to approximately €106,8 billion – around 19% more than the amount proposed by the Commission.
The proposal of the Employment Committee
At the beginning of last December the Employment Committee voted a proposal to increase the budget in order to strengthen the ESF+. It passed with 38 vote to 3 and the Parliament voted exactly the evisaged measures.
The main issue to tackle regards the young people currently not in employment, education or training (NEET). It was decided that at least 15% of the ESF+ shall go to the countries with a percentage of NEET above the european average or at least of 15% – the European Commission set the bar at 10% of the Fund. Moreover, at least 5% of the available budget shall go to the implementation of the European Child Guarantee (for which it has been also introduced a specific allocation of EUR 5.9 billion).
The management of the budget is partly shared between the European Commission and the member states. The Commission proposed that this should be 25% out of the total, while the Committee made it increase up to 27%. What is left to the Commission to manage (for EUR 1,1 mio, out of a total of EUR 106, 781) are the two strands of employment and social innovaton, on one side, and health, on the other.
For more details, check the Multiannual Finance Framework 2021-27.