The European Social Fund (ESF) was established in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination and inequality in the labour market, as well as to develop human resources and to promote the formation of information society. The ESF supports the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and the elaboration of annual employment guidelines and the national action plans.
The ESF promotes and supports the activities of the Member States in developing the labour market and the human resources, especially if these activities have been included into the multiannual development plans of human resources, elaborated by the Member States. The ESF finances the following measures:
- the development and promotion of an active labour market policy, in order to foster employment, to prevent long-term unemployment of women and men, to stimulate the integration of long-term unemployed into the labour market and support the professional integration of young persons;
- promotion of equal opportunities in the labour market, paying special attention to the risk groups threatened by social exclusion;
- improvement of the training, education and consultation system in order to foster lifelong learning with the aim of promoting and improving access to and integration into the labour market and enhancing the workforce mobility;
- development of a highly qualified, educated and adaptable workforce, promotion of innovation and adaptability, ensuring a favourable climate for entrepreneurship and creating new jobs, enhancing the employees' skills and raising the potential of research, science and technologies;
- measures promoting the participation of women in the labour market.