Structural Funds: a general overview

The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are intended to narrow the gaps in economic and social development among the regions and Member States of the European Union. Representing more than one third of EU’s budget, the Funds constitute substantial financial assistance that shapes the long-term development of the recipient countries and regions. What can…

Building upon the EQUAL programme

One of the success stories of the last round of the structural funds was the EQUAL Programme, which operated on the basis of social inclusion, innovation, transnationality, empowerment and the bottom-up approach, with over 2,000 projects, mainly for NGOs. There will be no CIPs in the new round, but these principles should be integrated in…

Building upon the strengthened partnership principle

For the first time, Article 11 of the Structural Funds regulation explicitly recognizes the principle of partnership with civil society organisations, which “shall cover the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes”. Implementing partnership across the whole Structural Funds process is an obligation upon Member States, but the quality partnership takes various faces across…

Stronger spending on social inclusion measures

In line with the renewed Lisbon Agenda, the emphasis on jobs, competitiveness and growth might hinder a rather holistic approach to socio-economic development. EAPN believes structural funds should be instrumental in meeting the EU’s social inclusion objectives, which implies strengthened focus on the following measures: measures efficiently tackling in work poverty “positive” activation measures measures…

Engaging with the National Reform Programmes (NRP)

EAPN’s members in national networks and European Organisations have been actively engaged in the follow-up on the European Employment Strategy since its beginning, through the National Action Plans on Employment. With the reform of the Lisbon Strategy, EAPN members have attempted to engage more broadly with the macro economic and micro objectives as well as…