The new programme will be used to help tackle some of the EU’s most pressing issues, such as high unemployment rates, poverty and social exclusion, and the ageing population.
The PSCI will integrate three existing Commission-managed programmes: PROGRESS, the programme for employment and social solidarity; EURES, which delivers European employment services; and the European Progress Micro-finance Facility.
Bringing these three instruments together under one umbrella will increase their effectiveness and allow the Commission to improve policy coherence across the board. The new-set up will also ensure that employment and social policies make an even greater contribution to Europe 2020, the EU’s overarching strategy for economic growth.
In addition to strengthening policy coordination, capacity building and the sharing of best practice, the PSCI will make it possible to test innovative actions. The ultimate aim is for the most successful of these pilots to be “up-scaled” and receive financial backing from the European Social Fund (ESF), which provides finance to projects that support employment and social integration in the regions.