This section of the website provides information about the next round of the European Social Fund from 2014-2020. At this stage, it contains information on the draft EU regulations. In due course, information will be added on the development of the new ESF programme in England.
- Regulations: information about the draft regulations for 2014-2020 proposed by the European Commission.
On 14 March 2012, the European Commission published a working document setting out its proposals for elements of a "Common Strategic Framework" for EU funds in 2014-2020. The Common Strategic Framework will cover the European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. It sets out how the funds can work together and contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. The status and content of the framework is subject to the outcome of negotiations on the draft EU regulations governing the funds.
Read the European Commission working document:
- European Commission working document (European Commission website)
On 13 July 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published the results from its informal consultation on the delivery of EU Funds in 2014-2020. Launched in March, the consultation sought initial views on how the new round of funds can best be used to support sustainable economic growth and jobs, including various delivery options for the funds in England.
187 consultation responses were received from local and non-departmental government bodies, universities, the civil society sector and business organisations.
In broad terms, stakeholders called for:
- a reduction in administrative burdens
- the ability to align funds, as appropriate, to enable a more holistic approach to dealing with barriers to growth
- a flexible approach to funding programmes that allow for place and issue based approaches
- local engagement throughout all programmes
- better use of match funding by aligning national funding sources and being more creative in the use of local sources, including private sector.
At the end of 2012 over 1,000 people took part in 12 consultative events across England on the government’s proposed approach to delivering the funds. The proposal, which received support at the events, is to bring together ESF, ERDF and a proportion of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in to a single ‘EU Growth Programme’. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are to be asked to work with local partners, on the priorities for the EU Growth Programme in their area.
The events were organised by BIS, which is responsible for the Common Strategic Framework and Structural Funds policy.
BIS is working on the next level of detail with the four Managing Authorities that have responsibility for delivering the funds on specific policy priorities. Work is also taking place with local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships, civil society, further education and universities and the devolved administrations.
More details, including guidance on next steps is expected in spring 2013.