European Social Fund (ESF)

EU Regional Policy Funds

The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the EU's Structural Funds, set up to reduce differences in prosperity and living standards across EU Member States and regions, and therefore promoting economic and social cohesion. The ESF sets out to improve employment and job opportunities in the European Union. It intervenes in the framework of the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment objectives.

The ESF is devoted to promoting employment in the EU. It helps Member States make Europe's workforce and companies better equipped to face new, global challenges. The ESF supports actions in Member States in the following areas:

  • adapting workers and enterprises: lifelong learning schemes, designing and spreading innovative working organisations;
  • access to employment for job seekers, the unemployed, women and migrants;
  • social integration of disadvantaged people and combating discrimination in the job market;
  • strengthening human capital by reforming education systems and setting up a network of teaching establishments.


Further details

ESF in Baden-Württemberg (German only)