European Commission

Member States and regions must lose no time in preparing the next generation of EU programmes for growth

Press release

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has told Member States and regions there is no time to lose in planning the EU structural funds programmes for 2014-2020. The call to action comes after members of the European Parliament's Regional Development Committee adopted a series of reports that in principle agree a radical reform of Regional Policy. Key elements of reform confirmed by today's vote:

  • Focusing investments on key areas for growth and jobs as outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy through a common set of rules which apply to all five European Structural and Investment Funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund)
  • The majority of the budget to be concentrated on few priorities closely linked to the EU 2020 growth strategy. In particular:
  • Between 50% and 80% of the ERDF budget concentrated on measures to support innovation and R&D, the digital agenda, the competitiveness of SMEs, and the shift towards a low carbon economy.
  • On low carbon economy a further obligation to allocate at least between 12% and 20% to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Member States and regions to establish clear and measurable targets on the impact of the investments. Progress to be measured and communicated.
  • Measures to cut red tape and simplify the use of EU funds: more common rules among all funds, more targeted but fewer reporting demands, more use of digital technology (“e-cohesion”)

Read the full press release Source: European Commission

Youth Employment Initiative - initial and revised programming (26 June 2013)

Based on the draft budget agreed between the European Parliament and the Council Presidency on 26 June.

On 3 July EU heads of states decided to increase the budget for  the Youth Employment Initiative by 2 billion EUR.  We will update the figures as soon as they are available

Data: European Commission More information on the draft budget 2014-2020

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Draft Cohesion Policy budget 2014-2020

Data: European Commission - 26 June 2013

More information on the draft budget 2014-2020


The European Commission's added value to the Member States' efforts in tackling youth unemployment

Following the Round table on Youth Employment in Europe, which took place in Berlin on 3 July 2013, President Barroso talked about the role of the European Commission in fighting youth unemployment: 'The role of the European Commission is to act as a catalyst, complementing and supporting national efforts – namely through funding programmes that we are for instance blending and leveraging with the EIB allowing the structural funds to be mobilized for this most urgent priority'. President Barroso mentioned five areas of Commission added value:

  • ensure implementation of the Country Specific Recommendations where urgent steps have been identified, including concrete structural reforms of labour markets, to combat youth unemployment;
  • Support Member States in their efforts to implement the Youth Guarantee schemes and by frontloading the Youth Employment Initiative. Dedicated Youth Employment Action Teams will directly assist the Member States upon their request;
  • Accelerate work with Member States on the Partnership Agreements, so that the European Social Fund, can provide extensive support to human capital;
  • Promote cross-border mobility among young people;
  • Ease transition from education to work: for example the European Alliance for Apprenticeships was launched yesterday, and we will move fast with implementation of "ERASMUS +".

Read the full statement following the Roundtable on Youth Unemployment in Europe

Source: European Commission

Youth Unemployment: Launch of European Alliance for Apprenticeships

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is launched today by Commissioners Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) and László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) at the 2013 WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany. The Alliance will help to fight youth unemployment by improving the quality and supply of apprenticeships across the EU through a broad partnership of key employment and education stakeholders. It also seeks to change attitudes to apprenticeships. It will in particular identify the most successful apprenticeship schemes in the EU and apply appropriate solutions in each Member State.

The Alliance is supported by the first-ever joint Declaration by the European Commission, the Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers and European level trade union and employer organisations (the European Trade Union Confederation - ETUC, BusinessEurope, the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services - CEEP and the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises - UEAPME). The Alliance promotes measures which will be supported by the European Social Fund, the Youth Employment Initiative and Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training and youth.


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