EU-Funding for social inclusion and social dialogue

Article written by Kurt Cortis – Executive, MEUSAC
Published in The Malta Independent – 25.08.2020

As we near the end of the 2014-2020 funding period, a new funding call seeks to tackle issues of poverty, social exclusion and social dialogue.

The European Social Fund (ESF) is an EU funding programme which seeks to improve access to the labour market by helping people to get better jobs whilst ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens.

The ESF programme strives to promote activities which encourage a high level of education and training, and aims to support the transition between education and employment for young people. Furthermore, the ESF programme also supports activities which seek to combat poverty and enhance social inclusion, whilst also promoting gender equality, non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all.

The ESF programme finances Malta’s Operational Programme (OP) II for 2014 – 2020, entitled: Investing in human capital to create more opportunities and promote the wellbeing of society. In Malta, this funding programme is managed by the Planning and Priorities Co-ordination Division.

Under the ESF programme there is currently an open call for applications which was issued in July and which contributes to Priority Axis (PA) 2 – Towards a more inclusive society, and PA 4 – Building the institutional administrative capacity.

PA 2 – Towards a more inclusive society
Government’s national 2020 target is to lift around 6,560 people out of risk of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover, women also face particular constraints concerning equal opportunities in the labour market, not only in relation to employment levels but also in relation to decision making positions and discrepancies in pay.

In this regard, proposals under this call contributing to PA 2 are expected to enhance active inclusion by enabling individuals realise their full potential and by enabling persons facing difficulties due to vulnerable situations make a success in their future.  As stated by the OP, in this case applicants should seek to achieve the following expected results: to “provide vulnerable individuals with improved life chances opportunities for integration within society and in the labour market as well as strengthened capacity building of support systems and structure to facilitate the integration of vulnerable groups”.

Proposals under this PA can be submitted either by NGOs or social partners and may include activities such as training, research, awareness campaigns, as well as the development of new support services or the improvement of current ones.

PA 4 – Building the institutional administrative capacity
Government believes that further investment is needed for social partners and civil society bodies to further develop the necessary socio–economic technical expertise and capacity needed to effectively participate in the social dialogue process and actively contribute towards the formulation of policies both at a national and at a European level.

this call contributing to PA 4. In view of this, projects submitted under this call which contribute to PA 4 must seek to provide stakeholders with the necessary expertise and knowledge through activities such as training, research or support for networking, to better be able to actively participate in the socio-economic dialogue – leading to an enhanced and more effective policy-making process. In fact, as stated by the OP, the expected result in this case has to be the “increased/improved participation from stakeholders”.

The entities that are eligible to submit applications under this call contributing to this PA are Social Partners and Civil Society Organisations as represented on the Council of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development.

Under both Priorities, the EU co-financing rate is 80% and the maximum grant per project is capped at €100,000. Projects must be completed within a maximum duration of 18 months and for expenditure to be considered eligible, they need to contribute directly to the fulfilment of the project activities and commitment.

The deadline for this call is Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at noon.

MEUSAC can support the above listed eligible entities to apply for this call under the ESF programme. For more information about the ESF programme or any other EU funding programme, kindly contact MEUSAC on info.meusac@gov.mt or 2200 3300.

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