2014-2020 programme content

The Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) in Flanders in the 2014-2020 period supports initiatives that increase employment and improve social cohesion in Flanders. In the years to come, 1 billion euro will be invested.

The ESF programme lays down the priorities for the expenditure of 1 billion euro. 600 million euro is financed through the Flemish budget and 400 million euro through the European budget. The Flemish labour minister, Philippe Muyters, states: "We have made up a balanced investment programme, which enjoys the support from the European Commission. The programme places the right focus on creating the best opportunities for people in their search for a job, with specific attention for youngsters and the most disadvantaged people."

The programme not only aims to stimulate employment and social inclusion, it also intends to promote innovation and transnational cooperation. It supports targeted actions for more entrepreneurship, an increased flow from social economy, as well as a better integration and inclusion of unskilled youngsters and Roma.
In the end, the Flemish Operational Programme will assist 250,000 people in finding or keeping a job, in setting up a company, or in participating in vocational training.

The priorities of the programme

  • Investing in sustainable and qualitative jobs on the Flemish labour market and investing in vocational training and lifelong learning.  60% of the resources have been allocated to this priority. This corresponds with the Flemish career policy, which wishes to bring about a more effective labour market.  More specifically, Flemish ESF projects  will focus on key transition moments in careers, such as the transition from school to work, from unemployment to work, from a job to another job.
  • 20% of the resources has been allocated to supporting social integration and equality and to combat poverty. The focus is placed on pathways to integration for the most vulnerable groups on the labour market.
  • Structural measures on company level, which encourage people to work longer, get specific attention in the programme: ESF projects  assist companies in creating an attractive working environment for their employees.

Finally, the European Social Fund intends to keep promoting transnational exchange and cooperation, as well as innovation or the sponsoring of innovative labour market services.

In the annex, you can find the Operational Programme as well as the composition of the Supervisory Committee and the  Commissions concerned.


Veerle Moens

Veerle Moens
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