Magazine article European Social Policy

European Social Fund : European Parliament's Empl Committee Joins Debate

Magazine article European Social Policy

European Social Fund : European Parliament's Empl Committee Joins Debate

Article excerpt

Acting in its capacity as co-legislator, the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) held a public hearing, on 9 November, on the role and impact on the EU of the European Social Fund (ESF). The event was meant to prepare the Parliament s contribution to a public consultation launched, on 10 November, by the European Commission.

The EU executive's 5th report on economic and social cohesion, published on 10 November, provides the basis for this consultation that lasts until 31 January 2011. It is also seeking a response to the question of "how to increase the relevancy of the ESF interventions, such as ensuring ESF financing and the need to focus the ESF on the Europe 2020' strategy objectives".

"The European Parliament did not wait for the Commission's proposal before discussing the ESF's future," said Pascale Gruny (EPP, France), who is also president of, and rapporteur for, the ESF working group.

Unfortunately, the Commission's 5th report on cohesion was not available in time for the hearing, and many of the questions addressed to the three experts present were not answered, due to lack of time.

While all MEPs agree that during the new specified timeline, the ESF must be simplified, better controlled and used to support the EU's employment aims, many questions do still remain unanswered, such as the ESF's financial allocation, its visibility, links with other funds and the follow-up mechanisms to be put in place. …

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