€90 billion in EU funds ready for use with green light for Casa’s ESF

The almost €90 billion can now start being used by the 27 Governments of the EU’s Member States through various schemes, for the upcoming seven years

David Casa
David Casa

In its first Plenary Session held in Strasbourg since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Parliament gave a strong endorsement to the European Social Fund Plus negotiated by the European Parliament’s rapporteur MEP David Casa.

The almost €90 billion can now start being used by the 27 Governments of the EU’s Member States through various schemes, for the upcoming seven years.

Reacting to the adoption of the fund, which saw no vote being taken as no amendments were submitted, Casa said: “Today is a good day for Europe. Long days of fruitful meetings and negotiations led to this important step: that of providing the EU’s member states with almost €90 billion to be used to improve the quality of lives of all Europeans. This is what our work as MEPs is all about: getting the best results for our electorate, providing enough money to governments to use them in the interest of all citizens.”

The Plenary’s approval followed the backing of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, given last Monday.

Now it is up to the various Member States to start launching different schemes using the allocated sum of money from the ESF+, as of this year till 2027. “I now urge the Maltese Government to make immediate use of this money. I look forward to seeing the people of Malta and Gozo making use of these funds,” said MEP Casa. Such funds will be used in various schemes, mainly administered by Jobs Plus but not only.

These EU funds can be used for example, for employees to improve their skills through various training courses; for employers to encourage their employees to enhance their output and aim at growing within that workplace; for individuals who lost their job during the pandemic and want to find a new place of employment; for the most deprived to be provided with the necessary food; for persons with disabilities to ensure that they are provided with all the necessary opportunities, as well as through the various schemes run by local councils within the different communities in Malta and Gozo.

Commenting on the negotiations, MEP Casa said: “For me, it was very important that we agreed on a balanced framework. In fact, we managed to provide the Member States with enough flexibility to ensure that they can use the money where they need it most, but at the same time we ensured adequate amounts to be spent on certain priorities, such as the Child Guarantee and the Youth Guarantee.”

David Casa, who forms part of the EP’s Bureau in his role as Quaestor, has been negotiating the European Social Fund since the beginning of this legislature, leading difficult negotiations both within the Parliament itself, but also with the various Presidencies of the Council. The final agreement with the Council was in fact reached last January.

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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