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About the Social Fund

Changes in working life

Global competition and new technological opportunities are changing the requirements for knowledge and skills. Both organizations and individuals must increasingly adapt, people have to change their jobs more often, learn new things and learn more. People can no longer go through working life and manage with the education they once acquired. The ability to change in itself has become an important skill, both for the individual and for the workplace.

Excluded from the Labour market

Sweden must hold its own in terms of global competitiveness and it also has to deal with the fact that fewer and fewer people have to support all the more. At the same time, over a million men and women of working age are excluded from the labour market. This is a bad deal for society, employers and individuals.

Working with gender mainstreaming

All projects with support from the Social Fund are expected to strive towards the integration of gender mainstreaming for people with disabilities.
Cooperation with projects in other EU countries
It is also possible for projects to collaborate with projects or organizations in other EU countries. Learn more about these opportunities under Transnational cooperation.

Added value and results

The Social Fund will add value to the national and regional policies by providing opportunities for development and new ideas. The Social Fund will therefore not finance ordinary activities that take place at national, regional or local level.
Social Fund projects will also seek to develop and pass on their results after projects have ended. It is therefore advantageous to consider how a project’s results will be disseminated and established before a project starts.

Clear regional focus

There are eight regional structural fund partnerships in Sweden, they are there in order to increase the Social Fund’s local establishment. The partnerships are composed of elected representatives from the municipalities and county councils along with representatives from labour market organizations, the county administrative boards, the Employment Agency, interest groups and associations. In the two northernmost regions there are also representatives from the Sami Parliament.

Each partnership has agreed on regional ESF plans on how the Social Fund’s resources will be used. The plans are steering documents and are based on an analysis of regional conditions. Each regional plan embraces both of the Social Fund’s programme areas and focuses on the problems, needs and opportunities that the regional analysis indicates are most urgent.

The Structural Fund Partnership prioritises between the project applications the ESF Council has approved, the prioritisations are binding for the ESF Council. The applications that are prioritised and which finally receive support may vary therefore from region to region.