Magazine article European Social Policy

European Social Fund : Commissioner Pidla Denounces Member States' Bad Choices

Magazine article European Social Policy

European Social Fund : Commissioner Pidla Denounces Member States' Bad Choices

Article excerpt

Speaking at a Party of European Socialists' workshop on the European Social Fund (ESF) at the European Parliament on 9 November, Vladimir pidla, the Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, denounced the member states' reluctance to invest in people. He is concerned at the more narrow scope allowed the ESF in the context of Structural Fund programming over 2007-2013.

INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE CRUCIAL

'Investment in people yields real results. It is not soft investment,' said the Commissioner. 'In the longer term, it provides very high returns, higher even than investment in infrastructure. Investment in human capital bears fruit. Examples:

- over the past five years, more than 60% of new jobs have been created in high-skill sectors;

- a further year of school or training increases an individual's salary by almost 10% over their working life;

- an additional year of training or learning after secondary education can increase overall productivity by more than 6% and by a further 3% in the long term.'

ESF TO SEE ITS SHARE REDUCED

'There is a political consensus on the importance of investment in human resources', the Commissioner added. 'However, this political consensus is not always borne out in facts. The member states face a difficult choice. Investment in infrastructures has a number of advantages. …

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