The European Parliament has endorsed almost €90 billion for the European Social Fund Plus negotiated by rapporteur MEP David Casa. The fund can now be 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, 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 last Monday.
Member States can 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,” Casa said. Such funds will be used in various schemes.
These EU funds can be used 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, through various schemes to ensure that all youth are provided with education, training or work, as well as through the various schemes run by local councils within the different communities in Malta and Gozo.
“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,” Casa added.
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 reached last January.