The New ESF+ Regulations and Programmes 2021-2027

Project number: 2130207

- Online Course -

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Date & pricing

22/06/2021 - 24/06/2021
Register before: 14/06/2021

€ 700,00 per attendee

€ 630,00 for EIPA members*

The New ESF+ Regulations and Programmes 2021-2027

(3 customer reviews)

From:  630,00

ESF becomes ESF+ for the new programming period 2021-2027. The New Structural Funds Regulations are to be printed officially in June 2021. How do the agreed new regulations differ from the EC proposed regulations, and the 2014-2020 regulations?

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About this online course

ESF becomes ESF+ for the new programming period 2021-2027. The New Structural Funds Regulations have been agreed recently and are to be printed officially in June 2021. How do the agreed new regulations differ from the EC proposed regulations, and the 2014-2020 regulations? What will your new ESF+ programmes look like and what is the impact of the health crisis?

This 3-day EIPA seminar examines these questions and assesses progress of new programmes. We will ask how you are identifying your spending priorities for your new programmes and what important lessons have been learnt from current and previous ESF programmes? We will consider some recent cases of good practice from around the EU.

EIPA experts will build on three successful EIPA seminar-workshops recently delivered under contract to the Flanders Region, the Brussels Capital Region, and the Wallonie region – assisting them with the preparation of a new generation of ESF+ programmes.

What you will learn?

Key elements include:

  • Country Specific Recommendations, Country Reports, recommendations of the European Pillar of Social Rights, Social Scoreboard
  • strategy design, methods for selecting programme priorities and financial allocations
  • choices for programme-specific indicators for ESF+ and how to prepare the new Performance Frameworks
  • financial planning and flexibility for new programmes
  • simplifying financial control and audit – expanding the use of simplified cost options and protecting the audit trail

How we work

The seminar will be led by highly experienced EIPA experts/consultants, Marco Lopriore and Robin Smail, who have been working with the ESF for more than 20 years. There will be a keynote intervention from the European Commission DG EMPL.

We aim to make the seminar as interactive as possible. Participants will have ample opportunity to exchange views informally on the seminar topics. Workshops will be used to help participants get to grips with practical tools and methodologies.

Read Marco Lopriore’s paper: ‘Recovery and Resilience Plans for the Next Generation EU: a unique opportunity that must be taken quickly, and carefully

Read paper

Who will benefit most?

This webinar is aimed principally at:

  • practitioners from Member State national, regional and local authorities working with ESF
  • the full range of economic and social partners working with the Funds – including universities, NGOs, employers’ associations, consultants.
Robin Smail

Robin Smail

Robin Smail Training & Consultancy
EU Structural Funds

Practical information

Online Course
For this online course we make use of Zoom

Remote simultaneous interpretation
Remote simultaneous interpretation can be offered in Spanish, French and Italian on request. Contact the Programme Organiser for more information and conditions

Programme Organiser
Ms Amber Kessels
Tel: + 31 43 3296320

EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €50 for cancellations received after confirmation of your participation. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.
EIPA reserves the right to cancel its live online activities up to 1 week before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed

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The programme

08.45 Opening of ZOOM platform, welcome of participants
09.00 Opening of the seminar,  learning objectives and methodology of the seminar, Tour de Table
Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA, Maastricht, Netherlands
09.15 Building an Inclusive Europe: policy context and key themes for the European Social Fund

  • The draft new regulations: legal framework of CPR and ESF+
  • Link to the European Semester, National Reform Programmes and economic governance, Employment Guidelines, Thematic Policy Paper, European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR)
  • Country-specific Recommendations and Country Reports (Annex D) and Social Scoreboard
  • The new Emergency Amending Regulations (CRII) and CRII+
  • European Recovery Plan and recovery Cohesion funding

Marco Lopriore

10.00 Short Break
10.10 Discussion: ESF+ priorities and financial allocations
10.30 Programming and new Programme Structure for 2021-2027

  • Financial allocations, Partnership Agreements, Programming
  • ESF+ Programme structure and logic of intervention, determining priorities, Specific Objectives
  • Preparing the ground: instruments & methods, Enabling Conditions, Concentration rules

Robin Smail, EIPA Visiting Expert and Consultant (former national expert, EC)

11.10 Coffee Break
11.30 Programming and new Programme Structure for 2021-2027 (contd.)

  • Programming method, Programme strategy
  • using the new Programme template
  • Programme performance, project selection, achieving results for ESF+

Robin Smail

12.10 Discussion: Lessons learnt from previous periods and issues for new ESF+ programmes
12.30 Reaction of ESF to the COVID-19 crisis, synergies with other EU funds and good practice cases

  • The Amended Regulations with COVID-19 and REACT-EU
  • Response of Member States with ESF
  • ESF+ and the demarcation issues, synergies and complementarities with others
  • Grants and financial instruments in ESF+
  • Institutions and governance mechanisms

Marco Lopriore

13.15 End of first day
08.45 Opening of the platform
09.00 Review of day 1
09.05 Financial Management of ESF+ for 2021-2027

  • Key changes in Financial Management: programme finance, co-finance rates, pre-financing, automatic decommitment
  • payment applications, the accounting year, calculation of the annual balance
  • Transmission of financial information; programme closure
  • Financial Control; Management Verifications; Audit changes

Robin Smail

10.05 Short Break
10.15 Workshop: Examining the Programme Template for Simplified Cost Options – Annex V, Section 8 and Appendix 1
10.30 Extending Simplified Cost Options in 2021-2027

  • Gold-plating examples in ESF
  • Review of key SCO options for ESF+ programmes
  • Audit and control of SCO

Marco Lopriore

11.15 Coffee break
11.35 Workshops: Result orientation and Simplified Cost Options in 2021-2027

Marco Lopriore

12.15 Discussion on the preparation of your programmes 2021-2027

  • Current ESF response to the health crisis: reskilling and upskilling
  • ESF support to short-time working schemes
  • Key negotiating topics in ESF+ regulation
  • State of preparation of ESF + programmes
  • Q&A

Loris Di Pietrantonio, Head of Unit, F1, ESF and FEAD: Policy and legislation, DG EMPL European Commission

13.15 End of second day
12.45 Opening of the platform
13.00 Review of day 2
13.00 Monitoring and reporting requirements

  • Changes for the new 2021-2027 period
  • Real time reporting – financial and physical indicators
  • The New Performance Framework and the OP template
  • The new Reporting template

Robin Smail

13.50 Break-out rooms: indicators for ESF+
14.15 Short Break
14.25 Eligibility of Expenditure

  • Key changes in ESF+ : Highlight on direct staff costs, VAT, durability, location, and visibility
  • Flat-rate for technical assistance: lessons from ESF
  • Eligibility of ESF+ participants
  • State aid in ESF+
15.05 Workshop: ESF+ challenges / no-go areas
15.20 Coffee Break
15.40 Break-out groups: what do we need to evaluate? Evaluation questions
16.00 Evaluation requirements, measuring success

  • Policy-evaluation cycle
  • The Evaluation Plan, preparing the ground for ESF evaluation
  • Evaluation criteria, measuring impact, value-for-money (VfM)

Robin Smail 

16.35 Remaining key issues in ESF+

  • Complying with horizontal principles (the Charter FR, gender, EO)
  • European Code of Conduct on Partnership and ESF+
  • Transnational cooperation
  • Capacity building in ESF+ for social partners and civil society

Marco Lopriore

17.10 Exercise: changes for ESF+ versus ESF
17.25 Evaluation and close of the online course