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Common Strategic Framework

Published on 14 Mar 2012, the CSF provides the Structural funds with a common framework for the period 2014-20.

Some extracts:



Key actions for the ESF:

Sustainable integration of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) into the labour market:

  • self-employment and entrepreneurship for young people in all sectors, with particular emphasis on emerging sectors in a low-carbon economy and the care and health sectors;

Self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation:

  • support in particular for unemployed, disadvantaged and inactive people, to start and develop businesses in all sectors, including care and health, work integration, green jobs and community development. Such support comprises skills development, including ICT, entrepreneurial and management skills, mentoring and coaching and the provision of inclusive business development and financial services for business starters

Key actions for the ERDF:

  • development of business incubators and investment support for self-employment and business creation, in particular in areas offering new sources of growth, such as the green economy, sustainable tourism (including the silver economy) and health and social services

Complementarity and coordination

Support for self-employment provided by the ESF will in particular target unemployed, disadvantaged and inactive people and focus on skills development, whilst the ERDF will provide investment support.


Key actions for the ESF:

Promoting the social economy and social enterprises:

  • capacity-building and support structures for the promotion of social enterprises, in particular through social entrepreneurship education and training, networking, the development of national or regional strategies in partnership with key stakeholders, and the provision of business development services and easier access to finance;
  • mobilisation of funds to support initiatives in the social economy and social entrepreneurship.

Community-led local development strategies:

  • support the preparation, the running and the animation of local strategies;
  • support the activities designed and implemented under the local strategy in areas falling within the scope of ESF in the fields of employment, education, social inclusion and institutional capacity building.

Key actions for the ESF:

  • targeted infrastructure investments to support the shift from institutional to community-based care, which enhances access to independent living in the community with highquality services;
  • support infrastructure investments in childcare, elderly care and long-term care.
  • support for the physical and economic regeneration of deprived urban and rural communities including the Roma, which reduces the spatial concentration of poverty, including the promotion of integrated plans where social housing is accompanied notably by interventions in education, health including sport facilities for local residents and employment;
  • support for the development of social enterprises through developing new business models and innovative solutions to address societal challenges;
  • fostering community-led local development strategies through support for the capacitybuilding of the local action groups and the preparation, the running and animation of local strategies, and through support for the activities designed and implemented under the local strategy in areas falling within the scope of the ERDF in the fields of social inclusion and physical and economic regeneration.

Complementarity and coordination

Coordination should be ensured with the Programme for Social Change and Innovation increasing access to microfinance for to social entrepreneurs and with the Erasmus for All programme, in particular with cooperation projects related to school education, vocational education and training and adult learning.

Social innovation

Innovative approaches are needed to better respond to societal challenges arising from population ageing, disability, poverty, unemployment, inequalities, new work patterns and lifestyles, and citizens' expectations regarding social and territorial cohesion, green growth, urban regeneration, education and care in an effective, fair and sustainable manner. Social innovation involves the development and implementation of new ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs and aspirations, as well as to create new social relationships or collaborations between organisations. It can contribute to both social inclusion, as well as other thematic objectives linked to innovation, employment, the Digital Agenda and institutional capacity.

Support to social innovation within the CSF Funds will make a difference in building innovative solutions in fields as diverse as distance learning, microfinance initiatives for specific target groups, care, urban farming, and waste reduction. Such actions should engage individuals, groups and associations, the non-profit sector, the market and the public sector. Innovative solutions require improved interactions between actors, creative and risk-taking.

Social entrepreneurship is a great source of social innovation. In its Social Business Initiative, the Commission called "on the Member States and local and regional authorities to support and encourage development of social enterprises within their sphere of competence."

Even if innovations of a technological and social nature are different, many social innovations can use the potential of internet-based social networks to empower individuals. Therefore, ensuring on-line connectivity and supporting the acquisition of relevant digital skills is a key empowering factor behind social innovation.

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/strategic_framework/csf_part2_en.pdf