European Parliament votes in favour of a stronger urban dimension of ESF+ 2021-2027


On 3 December 2018, the European Parliament’s EMPL committee adopted its report on the Commission's proposal for the European Social Fund+ 2021-2027. 

Ahead of the vote, EUROCITIES developed voting recommendations based on the position paper adopted in October and engaged its members in a coordinated lobby action towards MEPs to ensure ESF+ will have a strong urban dimension. 

The EP voting result has been favourable for cities. The report adopted by the Parliament is an impressive upgrade making 17 explicit references to the role of cities and local authorities compared to the initial proposal of the Commission that had no mention of local or regional authorities. 

These are the main results in comparison to the Commission’s proposal:

  • The role of local authorities is recognised throughout the report by stating explicitly that the ESF+ should support member states' efforts at all levels of government, including at regional and local level
  • The partnership article calls explicitly on member states to ensure partnership with local and regional authorities
  • The link of ESF+ to cohesion policy is reinforced by providing for ESF+ to contribute to the objectives of a Union that is closer to citizens in view of tackling the socio-economic inequalities in cities and regions
  • An article was added to explicitly mention that ESF+ should support integrated territorial development 
  • Flexibility clause was introduced with reinforced territorial dimension of ESF+  mentioning explicitly in the text that sufficient flexibility shall be ensured at managing authority level to identify priorities for ESF+ investments in line with the specific local or regional challenges
  • A strong focus was introduced for social innovation to give special focus on promoting the scaling up of local projects developed by cities, local and regional authorities, in the field of reception and social inclusion and integration of third-country nationals. 

This represents an impressive result for cities compared to the initial proposal of the Commission. 

After the green light of the European Parliament plenary, the trilogues with the Council of the EU member states will begin in early 2019. EUROCITIES will closely follow the legislative process and will continue the related lobby activities in close coordination with its members.

Read below the final report on the ESF+ as adopted by the EMPL committee. 

   EMPL_Report_ESF_download/preview this file

EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-Tavares