Study supporting the 2020 evaluation of promoting social inclusion, combatting poverty and any discrimination by the European Social Fund

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial instrument for operationalising the European Union's policies related to employment, education, training and social inclusion. It supports four of the eleven Thematic Objectives defined in the Common Provision Regulation, one of which is Thematic Objective 9 (ESF support to social inclusion): “promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination” in the 2014-2020 programming period. This study took stock of the achievements under Thematic Objective 9 (Social Inclusion) in the period up to end 2018, with the objective to formulate findings and identify lessons learned to support the negotiation of the Programmes for the European Social Fund plus; and to provide inputs to the Commission’s ex-post evaluation due by December 2024. The study covered the six Investment Priorities (IP) of ESF support for social inclusion and the 28 EU Member States. In total, 145 concerned Operational Programmes (OPs) were reflected in the analysis.

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