The European Commissioner responsible for Employment and Social Affairs, Mr. Padraig Flynn, has announced that the Commission has approved 32 innovative projects to be financed under the European Social Fund. The projects are designed to develop and test new thinking about the content, methods and organization of vocational training and the promotion of employment. The projects are the result of a call for proposals made during 1994 to all the Member States and represent the best and most innovative submissions. The list of successful projects is based on the recommendations of a panel of independent experts drawn from the Member States who assisted the Commission in making its final choice. The ESF contribution will amount to a maximum of 75% of project costs in the Objective 1 areas, and a maximum of 50% in the other areas. The overall amount available is about ECU 18 million. The projects will explore fresh avenues in the field of training and employment policy and help develop a new approach, both in the context of the work of the ESF at national level through the Community Support Frameworks, and at transnational level through the new Community initiatives, EMPLOYMENT and ADAPT. They also take into account the conclusions of the Essen Summit, especially the recognition that one of the key measures to be taken to improve the employment situation is to promote investment in vocational training. A wide variety of new ideas is incorporated in the 32 projects which range from distance learning in Greece to a technology and consultancy centre for women in eastern Germany, and a "virtual" training project on machine tools in North-East England.