Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document Ares(2018)3876443

2019 Evaluation the support to employment and mobility by the European Social Fund (Thematic Objective 8 excluding youth employment)


Roadmaps aim to inform citizens and stakeholders about the Commission's work to allow them to provide feedback and to participate effectively in future consultation activities. Citizens and stakeholders are in particular invited to provide views on the Commission's understanding of the problem and possible solutions and to share any relevant information that they may have.

Title of the evaluation

2019 Evaluation of the support to employment and mobility by the European Social Fund (Thematic Objective 8 excluding Youth)

Lead DG – responsible unit

DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, G.4 Evaluation and Impact Assessment Unit

Indicative Planning

(planned start date and completion date)

Q3 2018 – Q4 2019

Additional Information 

The Roadmap is provided for information purposes only. It does not prejudge the final decision of the Commission on whether this initiative will be pursued or on its final content. All elements of the initiative described by the document, including its timing, are subject to change.

A. Context, purpose and scope of the evaluation


The EU supports Member States in reducing unemployment rates in line with the wider EU 2020 target of achieving a 75% employment rate for the working-age population.

In the 2014-2020 programming period, the European Structural and Investment Funds support 11 investment priorities, also known as thematic objectives. The thematic objective 8 relates to Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility. It is one of the main objectives supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) with a budget of €30.8 bn representing around 36% of total EU funding for the period. .

In the frame of the thematic objective 8, the ESF supports the following:

(i)    Access to employment for job-seekers and inactive people, including the long-term unemployed and people far from the labour market, also through local employment initiatives and support for labour mobility;

(ii)    Sustainable integration into the labour market of young people, in particular those not in employment, education or training, including young people at risk of social exclusion and young people from marginalised communities, including through the implementation of the Youth Guarantee;

(iii)    Self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation including innovative micro, small and medium sized enterprises;

(iv)    Equality between men and women in all areas, including in access to employment, career progression, reconciliation of work and private life and promotion of equal pay for equal work;

(v)    Adaptation of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change;

(vi)    Active and healthy ageing;

(vii)    Modernisation of labour market institutions, such as public and private employment services, and improving the matching of labour market needs, including through actions that enhance transnational labour mobility as well as through mobility schemes and better cooperation between institutions and relevant stakeholders.

Other initiatives at EU level in the field of mobility outside the ESF include EURES (the European jobs network) set up in 1993 which is a cooperation network between the European Commission and the Public Employment Services (PES) of the EEA Member States (the EU countries plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and other partner organisations designed to facilitate the free movement of workers within the EEA.

Purpose and scope

This evaluation aims at taking stock of the results of EU support provided during the current programming period, building in particular on the evaluations carried out by Member States by February 2019. Since the EU support to youth unemployed will be assessed by another EU wide evaluation, it is excluded from the scope of the present evaluation.

The conclusions of the evaluation should be used in the implementation of the remainder of the period 2014-2020. They could also feed the preparation for the next programming period, as the evaluation will provide lessons, notably as regards cost-effectiveness, outreach and target groups most in need, thus supporting the negotiation of the operational programmes of the European Social Fund plus but also the design of operations by the Member States. It will also pave the way for the ex-post evaluation of the European Social Fund by the Commission to be completed by December 2024.

The evaluation will assess the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and EU added value of actions funded by the European Social Fund actions during the period 2014-2018. It will also address the complementarity and coherence with other initiatives in this field during the period concerned, in particular relating to job creation, mobility (e.g. EURES), labour market reform and equal opportunities.

The evaluation will cover all Member States.

B. Better regulation

Consultation of citizens and stakeholders

The consultation will collect the views of concerned stakeholders, participants and the general public regarding the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and added value of the ESF supported actions.

The consultation activities initially foreseen are:

A 12-week open consultation for the general public, including a targeted strand for relevant stakeholders, but also organisations involved in the management of operational programmes (such as: Member States, managing authorities/intermediate bodies, social and other partners represented in the monitoring committee). The consultation should address notably the visibility, outreach, usefulness, relevance and effectiveness of the ESF support. The open public consultation will run in parallel to the stakeholder consultation. The public consultation will be actively promoted by the Commission through the Europa website and social media.

Additional consultation tasks, notably in the form of interviews, case studies will take place during the data collection and analysis phases of the work carried out by the external contractors.

Finally, the Commission will make use of events and fora on -related fields to continue the consultation of stakeholders during the implementation of the evaluation. Such events are, for example the ESF Committee and Technical Working Group and the ESF Evaluation Partnership.

The synopsis report (a summary of all consultation activities' results) will be published on the consultation page once all consultation activities are closed. The views obtained through the consultation process mentioned above will feed into the work of the external contractors.

Data collection and methodology

The evaluation will be based on the monitoring information collected through the ESF common output and result indicators and specific indicators included in the Operational Programmes. This information is collected by the competent managing authorities via their data collection systems and submitted annually to the Commission through the Annual Implementation Reports of these programmes.

The evaluation will also rely on national evaluation reports produced by Member States as of February 2019 and available European Social Fund evaluations. In particular, it will seek to build on impact evaluations, with a specific focus on counterfactual impact evaluations. Additional data collection and analysis will be carried out through a combination of work by external consultants (case studies, focus groups…) and the use of the socioeconomic model Rhomolo developed by the Joint Research Centre.