Skip to content Skip to footer

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)

Objectives and goals of the funding programme

The Fund will support the EU’s green, digital and resilient recovery from the crisis by driving investment in jobs, skills and services.

The bulk of the ESF+ budget (€ 95.1 billion out of the total of more than € 95.8 billion) is designed and implemented in partnership between the European Commission, national and regional authorities and social partners and stakeholders with an approach of “shared management”.

The European Social Fund Plus is closely aligned to the recommendations and country analyses provided under the European Semester – the framework for coordinating economic and social policies across the European Union. The ESF+ finances the implementation of the European Pillar for Social Rights – a key element of the European Semester – through actions in the areas of employment, education & skills and social inclusion.

Type of Programme

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund

Funding type/type of support

Financing (Loans/Guarantees)

Organizational level


Programme Focus

Skills, Sustainable tourism, Smart / digital tourism

Programme relevant for/ target group

SMEs and micro companies, Other

Geographic area

European Union

The ESF+ has a total budget of over €99 billion.

The intended audience comprises social investors, EU public and private organisations, non-governmental organisations, EU citizens, young people, children, and people from vulnerable groups.

Grants, procurements and financial instruments.

  1. Further support youth employment: The tourism ecosystem employs a higher share of young people compared to the overall economy. Young people in or entering the labour market have been disproportionately hit by the crisis. EU countries with a large number of people aged 15 – 29 that are not in employment, education or training should invest at least 12.5% of their ESF+ resources in this key area. All other EU countries must allocate an appropriate amount of their ESF+ resources to targeted actions to support youth employment measures.
  2. Accompany the green and digital transitions: The ESF+ makes a strong contribution to the green and digital transitions by driving investment in jobs and skilling opportunities so that workers can thrive in a climate-neutral, more digital and inclusive society.

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is a key financial programme for investing in people. It provides much-needed resources to EU countries to help societies and economies recover after the coronavirus crisis. The ESF+ finances the implementation of the principles from the European Pillar of Social Rights.

  • Project Title: Duaal Traject Grootkeuken & Catering / Dual learning industrial kitchen and catering

This project fits into a larger framework of an experiment in dual learning development and could be implemented in various sectors. The main goal is to professionalise the hotel and food service sector, and strengthen cooperation between education and the hospitality sector.

EU contribution: €60,000

  • Project Title: Digital Leadership Culture

The pandemic has had a significant impact on Danish tourism. After the lockdown ended and restrictions were eased, visitors returned – but in far fewer numbers, and with new habits, needs and expectations. This project aims to strengthen the digital competences of managers and key employees in 420 Danish SMEs. With this new expertise, businesses will be better able to safeguard their long-term survival.

EU contribution: €5,083,722