Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 30 million

Official Journal Reference

L 63 of 1998-03-04

Legislative Reference

of 1998-02-23
Devising a new approach for Commission activities covering analysis, research, co-operation and action in the employment field, and for other Community actions promoting employment and in partnership and co-operation with the Member States.


The ESSEN action is proposed within the framework of the medium-term development strategy set out in the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment, which was approved by the heads of State and government at the Essen European Council on 10 and 11 December 1993.
In accordance with the strategy proposed in the Commission's White Paper and various subsequent documents, the ESSEN action aims to devise a new approach for analysis, research, co-operation and action in the employment field, thereby creating a platform for the exchange of information and experiences. The action also aims to foster closer and more effective co-operation between the Community and the Member States in the field of employment and workforce policy, and to promote the rationalisation of research and other activities conducted as part of employment policies at Community and national level.
Against this background, the approach proposed in the ESSEN action will contribute towards the development of measures taken in the Member States corresponding to the guidelines of the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment.
Research into the problems and solutions in the field of employment form a key element to the ESSEN action, with targeted research covering topics such as relations between employment policy and the protection of the environment, the analysis of the impact of the information society on social development, issues related to the globalisation of the economy and to the contribution of the social economy towards job creation. Forward studies on these and other topics will be coordinated with the Specific Programme on targeted socio-economic research implemented under the Fourth Framework Programme, 1994-1999, particularly under the Programme's "Education and training" section.
Actions aimed at defining best practices and promoting their transfer will be conducted in co-operation with the Member States by focusing on partnership. Their consistency and complementarity will be ensured with activities funded from other national and Community sources, particularly the Structural Funds and the Leonardo Da Vinci programme.


Three fields:
- setting up permanent systems to monitor, supervise and exchange comparable information and carrying out studies on employment policies and systems, job-market trends and job-creation methods
- implementing a methodological and technical support for projects aimed at identifying and transferring best practices in fields such as work organisation, regional and local job-creation measures meeting new requirements and measures aimed at helping certain groups of people particularly badly hit by unemployment
- implementing any initiative likely to promote the widespread dissemination of the results obtained using the above measures, including assistance in preparing regular reports on employment.


The Commission is responsible for implementing the action by working with the Member States on a partnership basis. The social partners will be fully involved in implementing the activities of the ESSEN action with the Standing Committee on Employment and will serve as the main platform for discussion.
Community funds will be made available to implement the ESSEN approach. These funds will include subsidies covering 100% of the cost of study contracts and services, expert meetings, conferences and seminars. Funds will also be provided to cover publishing and dissemination costs, agreed on the basis of a Commission initiative. Community funds will also be available for operations financed jointly with public or private-sector bodies at their request. Community funds usually cover below 75% of the cost of the operations selected.
The budgetary authority is responsible for the annual distribution of the financial resources required to implement the ESSEN action, in accordance with the budgetary procedure established. However, it is estimated that a sum of ECU 57 million is required for this five-year period, increasing from ECU 8 million for 1996 to ECU 14.5 million for 2000.
The countries of the European Economic Area, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Malta, as well as the Union's partner countries in the Mediterranean, can participate in a number of the Programme's activities in accordance with provisions to be laid down in the context of the European Union's relations with these countries.
The Commission will have to submit a final report on the implementation of actions conducted under ESSEN to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions by 31 December 2001.
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