Feedback to the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) – mid-term evaluation

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Public Consultations, Publications


The European Social Fund+ is a key funding instrument for re-use and repair social enterprises in Europe. On the ground, it supports the RREUSE network’s social enterprises in their missions of combating poverty and promoting social inclusion, employment and skills development in the circular economy. Thanks to ESF+, social enterprises like R.U.S.Z. (Austria) set up vocational training for mechatronic engineers who had not completed their primary education. Solidança (Spain) launched a 12-month labour insertion and training programme targeting women suffering from domestic violence and the transgender community.


The Employment and Social Innovation strand (EaSI) of ESF+ also plays a foundational role in networks like RREUSE. EaSI enables RREUSE to create indispensable fora to discuss and promote social innovation, policy interventions, and gather data on behalf of its 35 members across 31 countries. In turn, RREUSE supports the EC in implementing key initiatives such as the Social Economy and Circular Economy Action Plans, the Social Pillar, and the 2030 Headline Targets.

Amid the mid-term evaluation, RREUSE wishes for ESF+ to build upon its good track record. However, it notes the several recommendations for better social enterprise support: 


  • Address social enterprises’ obstacles in accessing funding for both social and environmental goals.
  • Guarantee a flexible approach for social enterprises to meet target groups’ needs.
  • Safeguard social economy’s access to EU funding.
  • Raise awareness of funding opportunities.
  • Better support inclusive skills opportunities.