About the Swedish ESF Council

The Swedish ESF Council is a government agency established in 2000 under the Ministry of Employment. We hold the government assignment to administer the European Social Fund in Sweden and thus to strengthen the position of Swedish citizens in the labour market. The Swedish ESF Council has some 140 employees working at eight regional offices and the council’s head office in Gävle.

The Swedish ESF Council is a government agency

The agency’s official title is the Council for the European Social Fund in Sweden but we use the name Swedish ESF Council. Our operations cover multiple policy areas, although mainly social and labour market policy, education policy, trade and industry policy and integration policy.

We change the labour market

Thanks to the European Social Fund, the Swedish ESF Council finances projects on skills development, labour market measures and integration interventions. Our operations are intended to reduce unemployment and social exclusion, strengthen Sweden’s long-term skills provision and economic growth and increase cohesion within the EU.

In our projects, we develop existing and alternative methods and trial new organisational and collaborative forms, thus providing new solutions and working methods that can be applied in Sweden’s labour market policy and welfare system.

Our work is imbued with the determination to counter discrimination and increase gender equality. We also take active measures to increase access for people with disabilities. Over the years, we have also built up unique expertise concerning the European Union’s Cohesion Policy and European Structural and Investment Funds and projects in Sweden.

The EU and the Swedish ESF Council

Each year, the EU invests €10 billion in the European Social Fund, which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the total EU budget. Member States also make individual contributions. This money is used to fund various national, regional and local projects to create jobs and contribute to skills provision. Member States receive funding based on their relative prosperity.

Every Member States has one or more organisations tasked with administering the European Social Fund. In Sweden, the Swedish ESF Council is the agency responsible for ensuring that funds are utilised in accordance with both EU strategies and national policies.

The Council for the European Social Fund in Sweden

The agency’s official title is the Council for the European Social Fund in Sweden but we use the name Swedish ESF Council in our day-to-day operations.


The Swedish ESF Council employs some 140 people at its head office in Gävle and in eight regional offices around Sweden.

Organisation chart

Organisational chart of the swedish esf council.

Regional division

The Swedish ESF Council has eight regional offices in Sweden located in Luleå, Östersund, Gävle (head office), Stockholm, Örebro, Jönköping, Gothenburg and Malmö.

The Swedish ESF Council’s regional division correspond to the territorial units of the EU drawn up by Eurostat for statistical purposes rather than Sweden’s own administrative regions (formerly counties).

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