It is the new EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation and will be launched on 1 January 2014.
The EU's Council of Ministers has adopted the new EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). EaSI will make €920 million available for the 2014-2020 period.
EaSi will support Member States efforts in the design and implementation of employment and social reforms at European, national as well as regional and local levels by means of policy coordination, the identification analysis and sharing of best practices. It will as well facilitate access to microcredits and promote social entrepreneurship. The European Parliament formally adopted the new EaSI Regulation on 21 November 2013, so the programme is ready to be launched on 1 January 2014.
EaSI integrates and extends the coverage of three existing financial instruments: Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (Progress), the European network of Public Employment Services EURES and the European Progress Microfinance Facility.
The three components of EaSI will receive the following allocations:
-Progress (Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity): Around €550 million (61% of the total budget) will support activities with a strong Europe-wide dimension such as comparable analysis, mutual learning and exchanges of practices in the field of employment and social policies.
-EURES: Around €160million (18% of the budget) will be dedicated to the EURES network that provides information and advice to job seekers wishing to work in another EU country.
-Progress Microfinance: Around €200 million (21% of the budget) will extend the support given to microcredit providers and institutions in order to make more loans available, and will help to develop the social investment market and facilitate access to financing for social enterprises.
According to the last annual report on Progress Microfinance, more than 6000 entrepreneurs have already benefitted from loans worth a total of almost €50 million since the facility was launched in 2010.
Together with the European Social Fund, the Fund for the European Aid for the most Deprived and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund EaSI forms the fourth pillar of the EU Initiative for Employment and Social Inclusion 2014-2020.