Today, the Commission launched a €23 million call for proposals to help EU Member States develop new ways to tackle long-term unemployment and help people re-enter the labor market. The call for proposals to achieve this goal was announced in the recent action plan to tackle labor and skills shortages in the EU.

Through this call for proposals, funded under the Social Innovation+ initiative of the European Social Fund+ (ESF+), the Commission aims to build on past promising initiatives and strengthen the role of social economy organisations. These organizations prioritize social and environmental goals and reinvest most of their profits into their initiatives. They have a proven ability to support those who experience isolation and poverty due to long-term unemployment.

Organizations have until 30 September 2024 to submit their proposals in accordance with the instructions on the call website.

The Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Mr. Nicolas Schmidt, said: “Long-term unemployment has devastating consequences for society, the economy and, above all, for those who experience it. This is a waste of talent and productivity. Europe cannot afford to tolerate this waste any longer. Across Europe, local authorities and social economy organizations have proven that it is possible to offer a new opportunity to people who have been unemployed for a long time. The EU will continue to fight long-term unemployment and support measures to promote quality jobs.”

This afternoon, the Commission will take part in an event organized by the Committee of the Regions to consider how the EU institutions can work together to help Member States tackle the problem of long-term unemployment. The event will be attended by the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Mr. Vasco Alves Cordeiro and the Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Mr. Nicolas Schmitt, together with Members of the European Parliament, members of the Committee of the Regions and other high-level speakers.

The event will be webcast. Interpretation will be provided in English, French and Spanish.

Nikos Andritsos