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Special Report 25/2021: ESF support to combat long-term unemployment: Measures need to be better targeted, tailored and monitored

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08/12/2021

​​Long-term unemployment can have severe consequences for the individuals concerned, and a negative impact on growth and public finances. The EU identified a number of policy responses to cover long-term unemployment. During the 2014-2020 period, ‘access to employment’ funded through the European Social Fund (ESF) measures reached many long-term unemployed, but did not specifically target them. Moreover, such ESF measures were not always adapted to address the specific needs of the long-term unemployed. We recommend that the Commission insists that Member States target specifically long-term unemployed and their needs by means of the 2021-2027 ESF+ support, that measures apply an individualised approach for long-term unemployed, and that the Commission evaluates the effectiveness of the ‘access to employment’ measures for them.

​ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.