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Celebration of 50 years European Social Fund with Commissioner Špidla

Brussels, 19.09.2007

Tuesday 25 September 2007

The European Social Fund (ESF) was established in 1957 and is an integral part of the European vision to improve job opportunities in the Community by promoting employment and increasing the geographical and occupational mobility of workers. The European Commission and the ESF committee, consisting of government representatives, trade unions and employers, manage the ESF. The ESF covers not only the agricultural sector but also the services sector.

The ESF has experienced several reforms over the years. The first reform in 1971 aimed at targetting the funding towards particular groups or categories of people. The first enlargement round in 1973 (UK, Denmark and Ireland) led to the creation of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 1975. The ESF and ERDF were referred to as ‘Structural Funds’. In the late 70s, the fund started to expand its focus and included the unemployed youth within the target group. It also focused more on the participation of women on the labour market.

The creation of the single market in the nineties influenced the ESF drastically. Also the beginning of the millennium brought about a lot of changes for the ESF. The European Employment Strategy as part of the Lisbon Strategy now forms the basis of ESF activities.

On 19 September, Eurofedop attended the celebration of 50 years European Social Fund. European Commissioner Spidla held a speech and an exhibition showing the history of ESF was placed in the Berlaymont building of the European Commission.

Eurofedop is particularly interested in the funding spent on public administration and services, support in modernisation and reform and good governance.

Should you wish for more information on the Structural Funds, please contact the secretariat or visit http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/esf/


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