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An updated instrument to build a more social Europe

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European Parliament

Yesterday, the European Parliament voted on the new European Social Fund+ (ESF+), which integrates the former European Social Fund, the Youth Employment Initiative, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) into a single tool.

The ESF+ which consists of 88 billion euros, will be crucial in tackling the consequences that the pandemic will have, especially for young people. It will invest in youth employment and the fight against child poverty, two groups particularly affected by the crisis.

Our French MEP Sylvie Brunet (MoDem) welcomed the vote: "Thanks to this agreement, the Union will have an ambitious updated instrument to build a more social, more resilient and more inclusive Europe."

Following an initiative by the Parliament, at least a quarter of the funds will be dedicated to measures promoting equal opportunities for disadvantaged groups, including marginalised communities such as the Roma and third-country nationals, to reduce barriers in the labour market, fight discrimination and tackle health inequalities.

Sylvie Brunet said that the ESF+ will be a key instrument to address youth employment, including the implementation of the European Youth Guarantee. She added that "special attention must be paid to NEETs, young people who are neither students, nor trainees, nor in employment, whose number has risen to 13.7% in 2020. With this objective in mind, it is vital that Member States devote an appropriate amount to actions in favour of their employment. With this agreement, the Union has a powerful tool for the period 2021-2027 to help gradually emerge from the crisis and meet the major challenges of a transition to a more digital and climate-neutral economy that strives to leave no-one by the wayside."