Community programme for employment and solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013)

The aim of the future PROGRESS programme is to provide financial support for the implementation of the European Union’s objectives in the field of employment and social affairs. PROGRESS, the budget for which is €743 million, finances analysis, mutual learning, awareness-raising and dissemination activities, as well as assistance for the main players over the period 2007-2013. The programme is divided into five sections corresponding to five main fields of activity: employment, social protection and inclusion, working conditions, diversity and combating discrimination, and equality between women and men.


Decision No 1672/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity — PROGRESS [Official Journal L 315 of 15.11.2006] [See amending act(s)].


Up to now, Community activities in the fields of employment, social inclusion and protection, promoting gender equality and the principle of non-discrimination have been supported by separate action programmes.

With a view to improving coherence and efficiency, the European Commission has proposed to group these subjects together in a single framework programme known as PROGRESS.


The programme has six objectives:


The programme is divided into the following five sections:

The programme will finance the following types of action:

The programme has a list of operational objectives for each of the sections.


The objective of this section is to support implementation of the European Employment Strategy by:

Social protection and inclusion

This section will support the implementation of the Open Method of Coordination in the field of social protection and inclusion by:

Working conditions

This section will support the improvement of the working environment and conditions, including health and safety at work, by:

Diversity and combating discrimination

This section will support the effective implementation of the principle of non-discrimination and promote its mainstreaming in EU policies by:

Gender equality

This section will support the effective implementation of the principle of gender equality and promote gender mainstreaming in EU policies by:


Access to this programme is open to all public and/or private bodies, players and institutions, in particular:

The programme is also open to the EFTA/EEA countries, associated candidate countries and countries of the western Balkans participating in the stabilisation and association process.


Actions may be funded by:


The budget proposed is EUR 683 250 000 million for the period 2007-2013. The breakdown of funding between the different sections will comply with the following lower limits:

The remaining 2 % will be used to cover programme management expenses.

A budget of EUR 60 million has been allocated to the new microfinance facility Progress for employment and social inclusion for the period 2007-2013.


The proposed approach will contribute to the key objective of simplifying instruments, in both legal and management terms, and streamlining the budget structure.

In the implementation of the programme, the Commission will be assisted by a single Programme Committee, instead of four as previously.


The Commission will draw up annual activity reports and send them to the Programme Committee. The programme will also be subject to a mid-term evaluation. An ex-post evaluation covering the whole programme will be carried out, one year after it ends, by the Commission with the assistance of external experts, in order to measure the impact of the programme objectives and its EU added value.


In its 2004 communication on the new financial framework for 2007-2013, the Commission identified the implementation of the social policy agenda as an important tool contributing to the goal of competitiveness for growth and employment.

In order to achieve the Lisbon objectives, the social policy agenda is based on a combination of instruments, in particular legislation, the Open Method of Coordination, European social dialogue, and the European Social Fund and other financial instruments managed directly by the Commission.

PROGRESS responds to the Commission’s desire to simplify and rationalise the financial instruments in the area of employment and social policy.



Entry into force and expiry date

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 1672/2006/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013


OJ L315 of 15.11.2006

Amending Act(s)

Entry into force date

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 284/2010/EU



OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010


Decision 283/2010/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 March 2010 establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion [Official Journal L 87 of 7.4.2010]. The new Progress microfinance facility shall finance:

This instrument is aimed at public and private bodies who offer microfinance to individuals or micro-enterprises.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 3 June 2009 – “A Shared Commitment for Employment” [COM(2009) 257 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 27.04.2010