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ESF and Social Inclusion: Lessons learnt / The way forward
23 October 2017
Workshop of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), on 11 October 2017. Background: While promoting social inclusion and combatting poverty is a common thematic objective for all Structural Funds, the European Social Fund (ESF) is the main fund used to deliver on the EU's poverty reduction targets. The implementation and evaluation of the delivered results will be decisive in the discussions on the post-2020 programming period, for which the 7th Cohesion Report, to be presented by the European Commission alongside the European Week of Regions and Cities, will be the starting point. This workshop discussed with policy makers, experts, practitioners and other stakeholders how effectively social inclusion measures (including those for the integration of marginalised groups, access to health and social services of general interest as well as access to sustainable and quality employment, or those for the promotion of social entrepreneurship and community-led local development) are implemented with the help of the European Social Fund in the 2014-2020 period and what lessons can be learned for the next programming period. It also made the case for a strong budget for social investments in the future, in order to guarantee social convergence.

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