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Employment and development of human resources

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Employment and development of human resources


This initiative has three inter-related objectives corresponding to three distinct but inter-connected strands: to promote equal employment opportunities for women ("Employment-NOW"); to improve the employment prospects of the disabled and other disadvantaged groups ("Employment-HORIZON"); to promote labour market integration of young people, in particular those without basic qualifications or any training ("Employment-YOUTHSTART").


Communication to the Member States laying down guidelines for operational programmes or global grants which Member States are invited to propose within the framework of a Community initiative on Employment and Development of Human Resources aimed at promoting employment growth, mainly through the development of human resources.


This initiative applies to the whole of the territory of the Union, with particular emphasis being placed on the less favoured regions.


It is a direct follow-up to the Commission's White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment, the main thrust of which is to put the highest possible premium on pro-active labour market measures to stimulate employment-intensive growth.

The main features of Community initiatives in this field should be:

  • a transnational dimension - giving priority to transnational exchanges, cooperation and dissemination of information;
  • innovation - encouraging innovative approaches;
  • a bottom-to-top approach: pinpointing common local, regional and multisectoral problems and needs;
  • reinforcement of Community policies and programmes, especially in the field of employment, human resources and labour market integration.

Eligible measures

Member States are invited to select, in cooperation with the Commission, a more limited list of measures per strand on which to concentrate financial assistance.

a. Employment-NOW

This strand aims to help reduce unemployment among women and to improve their occupational status, qualifications and career prospects.

b. Employment-HORIZON

This strand will promote measures to improve access to the labour market for the disabled and other disadvantaged groups who are unemployed or face serious obstacles in integrating given their degree of marginalisation.

c. Employment-YOUTHSTART

This programme aims to stimulate actions by Member States which will eventually provide young people with guaranteed access to a form of education or training.

Within these three strands the following measures can qualify for assistance:

  • the development, especially through transnational cooperation, of appropriate training, guidance, counselling and employment systems;
  • training, especially with a transnational dimension;
  • job creation, in particular through transnational cooperation;
  • information and awareness-heightening campaigns, especially with a transnational dimension.


This initiative will cover the 1994-1999 period.


The actions covered by this initiative will be jointly funded by the Member States, the Community and by enterprises and other appropriate bodies.

The total contribution from the Structural Funds for the period 1994-1999 is estimated at ECU 1.4 billion, of which ECU 0.8 billion will be allocated to Objective 1 regions.

The following amounts will be allocated to each strand:

  • Employment-NOW: ECU 370 million,
  • Employment-HORIZON: ECU 730 million,
  • Employment-YOUTHSTART: ECU 300 million.

4) deadline for implementation of the legislation in the member states

5) date of entry into force (if different from the above)

6) references

Official Journal C 180, 01.07.1994

7) follow-up work

8) commission implementing measures