The agreement secured by the Irish Presidency today (Wednesday) in Brussels on the new Employment and Social Innovation (EASI) programme (formerly known provisionally as the Programme for Social Change and Innovation) will assist the EU’s employment efforts, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.
The Irish Presidency reached a political agreement with the European Parliament at a trilogue today. The agreement will be subject to final approval by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper). The indicative budget of €815 million for the funding programme is subject to final agreement on the Multi-Financial Framework (MFF)
Minister Bruton commented: “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth so I am delighted that the Irish Presidency has secured this important agreement on what will be known as the Employment and Social Innovation programme. The new EASI programme promises to continue much of the valuable work already carried out by the EU in the areas of employment and enterprise, particularly in relation to assisting disadvantaged European Citizens. It also contains a number of promising new initiatives.”
“The EASI programme contains a number of initiatives designed to assist skills development and employment placement. Activities under the EURES Network will support workers’ mobility, help companies recruit abroad and develop targeted mobility schemes for workers moving from one Member State to another. “
“The support given to providers of microcredit under the European Progress Microfinance facility will also be extended and there will also be additional investment in developing and expanding social enterprises. There will also be a continuation of analysis, mutual learning and grants that currently exist under the Progress Programme. The plans to create a specific budget for testing of innovative policies on a small scale, with the aim that the most successful ones can be up-scaled are to be warmly welcomed.”
The Employment and Social Innovation programme aims to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, its headline targets and Integrated Guidelines by providing financial support for the European Union’s objectives in terms of promoting a high level of employment, guaranteeing adequate social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.