Support Center



A.   Fund architecture

The 2021-2027 program is structured around 22 ERDF, ESF+ and Just Transition Fund programs (FTJ), for a total of 16.8 billion Euros and divided between three types of management authorities: regional councils, single territorial collectivities (for the outermost regions) and the State. In mainland France, the management of the ERDF is entirely entrusted to the regional councils, while the ESF is shared between the State and the regions, according to a distribution key of 65% – 35%.

Architecture of the ERDF-ESF programs

  • 17 joint ERDF-ESF+ programs managed by the Regions (13 in mainland France + Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion)
  • 2 programs FEDER State Saint Martin and Mayotte
  • 1 national program FTJ Employment – Skills
  • 2 national ESF+ programs 
      1. ESF + National Program  Employment, Inclusion, Youth, Skills
      2. National ESF+ program European support for food aid.

The dividing lines between the funds will be detailed in the regional ERDF-ESF+ programmes. All the objectives identified in the Partnership Agreement will not be found in the operational programs because the managing authorities have the choice of retaining only the objectives relevant to their territories. In each region, the State and the regional community establish a watershed agreement specifying the distribution of the fields of intervention between the State program and that of the region on the territory.

  • The coordinating authority for the ERDF is the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT).
  • The coordinating authority for the ESF+ and FJT is the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP) which comes under the Ministry of Labour.

B.   Strategic objectives relevant to social services

SO 4: A more social Europe implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights
ESF+ Challenges
Challenge no. 1: Improve access to employment and socio-professional integration

Target groups: public furthest from employment but also those who have suffered more directly the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, in particular young people, the unskilled unemployed, the long-term unemployed, people living in priority neighborhoods city ​​policy (QPV) or rural areas, seniors, people with disabilities and people under the justice system, Roma populations (IDF).

Strategy: integrate social issues into the support paths to employment, via an integrated path, integration by economic activity. The other priority will be the development of self-employment, micro-entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship, and the social and solidarity economy (including social services). Finally, ESF+ will be mobilized to promote professional equality and fight against discrimination.

Challenge no. 2: Fight against social inequalities:

Target groups: people far from employment, residents of political areas of the city, single-parent families, and people with an immigrant background (identified as particularly affected by poverty). Resocialization activities, digital inclusion, fight against child poverty, Roma inclusion.

The ESF+ will also be mobilized to support the medical, social assistance, and child welfare systems in order to professionalize the actors, strengthen and modernize the capacities of the networks and allow better identification of people not followed by these structures.

The ESF+ I will take over from the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) to ensure the co-financing of food aid for the most deprived via a national program devoted to food aid and managed by the General Directorate for Social Cohesion (DGCS).

Challenge no. 3: Improve skills and access to vocational training – adequacy of skills with the needs of the labor market. Training actions for workers in connection with the changes to come (IT, ecological) and vocational training for the unemployed.

The actions will make it possible to train job seekers and working people, including under the professional security contract, develop apprenticeships and increase access to training for those who benefit the least.

Challenge no. 5: Improve access to care and the health system – improve existing structures (especially in rural areas and DROM), not only an accessibility problem but also a social problem:issue of social support for people in the management and monitoring of their health, actions to strengthen the skills of job seekers with a focus on training in the health and social field. Particular attention will be dedicated to preventive measures for vulnerable groups and health promotion.

Cross-cutting challenges at the ESF+ (to be included in all the strategies formulated by the managing authorities).

  1. Access to employment for young people – support for education systems, guidance, support for employment,social inclusion and skills development.
  2. Innovation and social experimentation – promoting social innovation.

ERDF Challenges: inequality in social infrastructure (adaptation of education, training and social infrastructure to better serve citizens, education and training or health), with a deficit observed in particular in the outermost regions (OR =Outermost region, in France it is Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion and Saint-Martin) or in isolated areas, disadvantaged areas (political districts of the city) or areas subject to strong demographic pressure.

In mainland France, priority will be given to investments carried out by public bodies or SMEs and should mainly concern the improvement of the energy and digital performance of infrastructures. For the outermost regions:

  • Improve equal access to inclusive and quality services in education, training and lifelong learning through the development of accessible infrastructure ;
  • Promote the socio-economic integration of marginalized communities, low-income households and disadvantaged groups, including people with special needs, through integrated measures, particularly with regard to housing and social services ;
  • Guarantee equal access to health care and promote the resilience of health systems, including primary health care, and promote the transition from institutional care to family or community care ;
SO 5. A Europe closer to citizens by encouraging the sustainable and integrated development of urban, rural and coastal areas through local initiatives

Challenge No. 1: Support the dynamics of territorial development access to care, services to the population, local partnership with the voluntary sector. Territorial targets: urban areas with significant social inequalities (Political districts of the city – QPV). This objective is articulated around three themes of intervention: dynamic city, sustainable city and inclusive city. The latter could be used by social services targeting sectors such as health (reception of health professionals and infrastructures), public services, security, fight against poverty, renovation and extension of local equipment in coherence with existing equipment at the local level, resorption of slums and inclusion of marginalized communities.

Specific objective: To enable regions and people to cope with the social, economic and environmental consequences of the transition to a climate-neutral economy (FTJ)

Architecture of FTJ programs:

  • 6 ERDF-ESF+ programs concerned by the JTF (Hauts de France, Provence-Alpes-Côte-D’azur, Grand Est, Normandy, Pays-de-la Loire, Auvergne-Rhône Alpes)
  • A national FTJ program (social component)

Challenge No. 1: Supporting the socio-economic transition of the regions that emit the most CO2: taking into account the social impacts of the ecological transition, targeting employees affected by the closure of sites, industrial sectors in decline and by a diversification of skills in the territories concerned

C.   Thematic focus

  • Social inclusion programmed under the specific objectives, article 4, points h) to l), of the ESF+ regulation – 26.5%
  • Support for the most deprived persons programmed under the specific objectives, Article 4(m) and in duly justified cases, Article 4(l) of the ESF+ Regulation – 9%
  • Support for youth employment programmed under the specific objectives, Article 4, points a), f) and l), of the ESF+ Regulation – 15%
  • Support for the fight against child poverty programmed under the specific objectives, Article 4, point f) and points h) to l), of Regulation FSE+ 0%
  • Capacity building of social partners and NGOs programmed under all specific objectives except Article 4(m) of the RegulationFSE+ 0%

D.   Administrative capacity building

  • Support for program implementation via interfund technical assistance
  • Training for the entire chain of actors involved in the management and absorption of funds

Coordination between national and regional authorities is organized through various steering and consultation bodies:

  • politically via the State-Regions Committee bringing together Ministers and Presidents of regions, or their representatives  
  • at European director level and ministries through Directors Europe meetings and interfund groups
  • at the mission officer level within the regulatory, thematic, and territorial working groups.
General remarks :
  • SO 4: More social Europe is the objective with the largest envelope, at EUR 6,960,588,120.
  • Mostthe regions French authorities as well as the national authorities sent their programs at the endears and await validation of this by the Commission.
  • For integration and the fight against poverty, 65% ESF+ credits have been delegated to intermediary bodies: 115 bodies have been identified at this stage, including: 85 Departmental Councils, 11 Metropolises, 17 PLIE or groups of PLIE, 1 GIP combining CD and PLIE (in Essonne) and 1 GIP associating the Prefecture and the CD (in Mayotte).

Useful resources (to be completed) and bibliography

Website Europe is committed to France constitutes the national entry point to follow the news of European funds in France and communicate the progress of the consumption of funds with a global vision. It aggregates a large number of works available on European funds and promotes regional achievements.

Home page | ESF – most of the information concerns the old programming, no update yet.

Regional council contacts: Contacts for decentralized services and regional councils | ESF

Calls for projects: Calls for projects | ESF

Distribution of amounts:

Distribution by theme:

Fund Architecture:


Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Project coordinator

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Project coordinator