EUROCITIES has carried out a survey to examine the experiences of cities with the European Social Fund (ESF) during the first half of the funding period 2014-2020, and has published its findings in a report. These findings are of concrete relevance to the Urban Poverty Partnership: They include analyses and good practices of ESF projects to tackle urban poverty.
One important finding of the research on cities’ experiences with ESF in 2014-2017 is that ESF interventions resulted in concrete developments in cities benefitting social cohesion at the local level. But the publication also specifies the barriers, challenges and bottlenecks that cities face in accessing and using ESF. The research highlights the need for cities to be involved in the design and priority-setting of the operational programmes. Another identified challenge is the remaining complexity of ESF access and use despite simplification efforts.
EUROCITES concludes with recommendations to provide better support from ESF to cities to deliver the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Urban Agenda for the EU and the Sustainable Development Goals in the EU.