On Wednesday 8 December, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the EU’s measures to combat long-term unemployment.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Long-term unemployment refers to persons who have been unemployed for at least 12 months. In 2020, they were 5.3 million in the EU. Long-term unemployment can have severe consequences for the individuals concerned, and a negative impact on growth and public finances.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The European Social Fund (ESF) is the EU’s main financial instrument for supporting Member States’ active labour-market measures. During the 2014-2020 period, around €11.4 billion were allocated to address “access to employment” for long-term unemployed, together with other groups of disadvantaged jobseekers and inactive people.
The EU auditors have analysed to what extent ESF spending was targeted at measures helping long-term jobseekers to find a job. In addition, they examined whether Member States applied an individualised approach when implementing “access to employment” measures to facilitate the (re)entry into the labour market of the long-term unemployed. Lastly, they checked whether the Commission had taken the necessary action to obtain relevant and sufficient data to determine the impact of ESF funding on long-term unemployment.
The analysis covers all Member States. Four Member States (Ireland, Italy, Poland and Slovakia) are examined in greater depth, as they either faced particular difficulties with long-term unemployment at the beginning of the programme period, or had allocated a significant share of their ESF funding to the “access to employment” investment priority.
ECA press office will hold a virtual briefing on 8 December at 9 a.m.. Journalists who wish to participate should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The report and press release will be published on the ECA website eca.europa.eu at 5:00 p.m. CET on 8 December. The ECA member responsible for this report is Lazaros S. Lazarou.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.