EU2017MT Conference – European Social Fund: Past, Present and Future: 23-24 March 2017

Conference: EU2017 – European Social Fund: Past, Present and Future
23rd March 2017 – 24th March 2017
Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, Gozo

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the European Social Fund (ESF), the conference will bring together ESF stakeholders, policy makers, social partners and practitioners to participate in the current debate on the future of the ESF post 2020. 

The European Union is now on a growth path, after a deep economic and social crisis which has left deep scars on economic and social fabric. Looking ahead, several economic, social and structural challenges will remain or emerge. The EU will have to provide answers in line with the policy framework given by the employment strategy reflected in the Employment Guidelines and in the new EU initiatives, such as the New Skills Agenda for Europe and the proposal for a European Pillar of Social Rights. 

The ESF is the main instrument of the European Union to invest in people. Since 1957, the ESF has proven to be a key tool for supporting jobs, helping people get the right skills and ensuring fairer opportunities for all EU citizens. In today’s challenging times for the EU, the ESF plays an important role in fostering competitiveness within the European workforce, strengthening social cohesion and modernising public administrations. The conference will therefore allow an exchange of views on the role and the value added to the ESF, by building upon past and current experience. The objective is to make the Fund react effectively and efficiently when faced with future challenges. Demographic change, new technology and productivity paradigms, as well as persisting social inequalities will indeed have potential consequences on the sustainability of the European social model and its structures.

Aim of the Conference

The conclusions of the conference will be considered in the current and ongoing EU reflections, to make investment in European Human Capital relevant, efficient and effective for the post 2020 future. 

The Maltese Presidency 

Malta has chosen to put a number of priority areas as the main focus of the Presidency.

“Migration, social inclusion, the single market, the European Union’s neighbourhood policy, the maritime sector and security, are all interlinked areas of concern that impinge on the aspirations of our peoples. Europeans expect us to work together in synergy and in solidarity so as to ensure their prosperity and wellbeing,” (President of Malta, Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca)
Growth and jobs remain an overarching priority for all EU Member States and for the EU as a whole. The extension in time and financial capacity of the European Fund for Strategic Investment will be a priority file during the Maltese Presidency to help mobilise private investment while making smart use of scarce budgetary resources ( 2. The Single Market – Concrete Objectives – page 3)
Social policy is something that the Maltese Government holds dear. This is an area where we hope our experiences can rub off on our European partners. Work here will be guided by close consultation with social partners, civil society and citizens in order to advance gender equality and rights of minorities and vulnerable groups. (4. Social Inclusion – page 5)

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