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Fund architecture

Within the framework of the cohesion policy and in cooperation with the Commission, each Member State draws up a partnership agreement, a strategic document for the programming of investments under the cohesion policy funds (ERDF, ESF+ and Cohesion Fund), JTF and Feampa in the context of the multiannual financial framework. Partnership agreements focus on EU priorities and establish the strategy and investment priorities defined by each Member State.

The partnership agreement with Luxembourg lays the groundwork for the implementation on the ground of two national programs under the ERDF-FTJ and the ESF.

For the period 2021-2027, Luxembourg will benefit from funding of 67 million euros under the cohesion policy in order to accelerate the country’s ecological transition, finance innovation and digitalisation, increase the employment rate and improve local social services. The strategy and details of these investments are defined in the partnership agreement which has just been adopted between Luxembourg and the Commission.

Around €23 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will improve the energy efficiency of public buildings, reducing CO2 emissions in the construction and transport sector. Funds will also be invested in the production of renewable energies, such as biomass and solar energy.

Under the ERDF, investments will protect biodiversity, in particular by reducing light pollution.

Finally, research and innovation will be supported, for example through the creation of start-ups and centers of excellence, which will boost the competitiveness and innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ERDF will also finance the digitization of procedures for SMEs and the administration of public services for citizens.

€15.5 million from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will support social inclusion, education and employment.

Of this amount, EUR 5.5 million will be used to help job seekers and people who are neither in employment nor looking for work, for example by offering them tailor-made training offers, which will help find a job. The funds will also support the social economy, for example by financing consultancy services for social economy start-ups, while a significant part of the funds will be devoted to the development of digital skills and jobs. With an additional €1.7 million, Luxembourg will improve the skills of employees, focusing on the least qualified and older workers.

EUR 2.2 million will be explicitly earmarked for young people in order to improve and modernize their education and training, to support vocational guidance, to combat early school leaving and to promote the integration of young refugees and migrants in the school system. In addition, nearly €1 million is dedicated to combating child poverty and contributing to the implementation of the European Child Guarantee.

Finally, with 3.9 million euros from the ESF+, Luxembourg will support disadvantaged groups, in particular people with an immigrant background, notably through training and partnerships with employers with a view to integration sustainable development of people in the labor market, as well as guidance and support services for young people. The country will also invest 1.3 million euros to help people in need by providing them with food and basic necessities.

A. Strategic objectives relevant to social services

SO 1: A more competitive and smarter Europe by fostering smart and innovative economic transformation and regional ICT connectivity

The ERDF program responds fully to the intervention logic of a more competitive and smarter Europe. The specific objectives selected will enable the ERDF to respond to the main challenges identified in terms of the competitiveness of SMEs, RDI and digitalisation. The ERDF operational program for the period 2021-2027 is aimed at the entire territory of Luxembourg and is not specifically limited to rural or urban areas. (Contrary to the FEADER or LEADER programmes, which mainly target rural areas)’.

The ERDF intends to support the following 3 specific objectives:

OS1 i): Willingness of the government to invest in RDI and to make it a sustainable policy for the development and diversification of the country – Risk of growing international competition from emerging countries in terms of R&D and technological innovation

SO1 ii): The development of a digital economy strategy aims to coordinate innovation policies and infrastructure implementation in order to ensure a secure data economy based on trust; Promote artificial intelligence technologies, particularly in the fields of security and mobility

SO1 iii): Lack of interaction between Public Research Centres, the University of Luxembourg and the private sector, in particular with SMEs; National Research Fund: participation in research programs: BRIDGES (financial support for partnerships between Luxembourg public research organizations and companies present in Luxembourg).

SO 2. A greener, resilient and low-carbon Europe moving towards a zero-carbon economy, through the promotion of clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investments, circular economy, mitigation climate change and adaptation to it, risk prevention and management, and sustainable urban mobility

The ERDF program supports the following 2 specific objectives:

OS2 i): Adoption of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC) by the Council of Government at its meeting of May 20, 2020.

SO 3. A more social and inclusive Europe implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights

The ESF+ program pursues the goal of a more social and inclusive Europe, while responding to the challenges identified in the country recommendations and set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights. The SOs selected will make it possible in particular to combat unemployment (in particular for the 45+ population, the long-term unemployed and young people), the promotion and adaptation of skills as well as the activation of disadvantaged people. The actions will thus contribute to the key objectives (2030 targets) in terms of employment (at least 78% of 20-64 year olds in employment), training (at least 60% of adults take part in training activities) and the fight against poverty and social exclusion (reduction of people at risk).

ESO 4.1. Access to employment and activation measures for all

  • participation of a large number of job seekers and inactive people in training and other schemes offered in order to facilitate their access to employment and support them in their efforts;
  • reduction in the overall unemployment rate;
  • reduction in the youth unemployment rate;
  • promotion of the social and solidarity economy through an axis dedicated to social innovation.

ESO 4.5. Improving education and training systems

  • participation of a large number of young people under the age of 30 in studies and/or training in the various operational projects in order to ensure their orientation, information and support;
  • better guidance for young people in their future professional orientations and choices;
  • reduction in the rate and risk of dropping out of school.

ESO 4.6. Qualitative and inclusive education and training systems

  • support for various actions within the framework of the implementation of the Action Plan for Childhood Guarantee and which will primarily aim at non-discrimination and equal treatment of young people exposed to the risk of poverty;
  • implementation of various concrete actions to prevent and combat social exclusion and promote equal opportunities for young people at risk of poverty.

ESO 4.7. Lifelong learning and career transitions

  • participation of a significant number of people and companies in the measures proposed for their professional development and requalification according to the needs of the labor market;
  • high number of participants obtaining a qualification;
  • reduction of job losses linked to economic transitions;
  • guarantee of the maintenance in employment of the persons in activity.

ESO 4.8. Active inclusion and employability

  • participation of a significant number of disadvantaged people in the actions offered;
  • effective and sustainable integration of immigrant populations;
  • stabilization of the personal and professional situation of vulnerable groups;
  • reduction of the AROPE rate (“at risk of poverty or social exclusion”).

MD 13. Support for the most deprived people under EOS4.13

  • free distribution of food and/or basic necessities to people at risk of poverty and exclusion;
  • significant number of people benefiting from food aid (more than 12,700 people in 2021).

B. Thematic focus

  • Social inclusion programmed under the specific objectives, article 4, points h) to l), of the ESF+ regulation 25.00%
  • 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 8.00%
  • Support for youth employment programmed under the specific objectives, article 4, points a), f) and l), of the ESF+ regulation 13.00%
  • Support for the fight against child poverty programmed under the specific objectives, article 4, point f) and points h) to l), of the ESF+ regulation 6.00%
  • Capacity building of social partners and NGOs programmed under all specific objectives except Article 4(m) of the ESF+ Regulation 1.00%

Useful Resources and Bibliography

ESF+ Regulatory framework:

On June 30, 2021, the legislative package for the cohesion policy of the European Union 2021-2027 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It will strengthen economic, social and territorial convergence while supporting sustainable competitiveness, research and innovation, digital transition and the objectives of the European Green Deal. It will also allow the promotion of european pillar of social rights.

Regarding the ESF+, the most important documents are:

  • The general regulation laying down common provisions relating to the various funds –(UE) 2021/1060 ;
  • The specific regulation relating to the European Social Fund plus –(UE) 2021/1057 ;
  • The Regulation establishing the Just Transition Fund –(UE) 2021/1056. This fund is integrated into the ESF+ program through a dedicated axis.

ESF+ Related strategic documents

Regular exchanges have taken place between the managers of the various European funds within the framework of a consultation committee to develop several strategic documents, including in particular:

  • The Partnership Agreement which guides negotiations between the Commission and the Member State on the design of programs and ensures effective and efficient use of funds. A new formal version of this agreement was filed on November 22, 2022 with the services of the European Commission and officially validated on December 7, 2022.
  • The Territorial Just Transition Plan outlining the transition process at national level towards a climate-neutral economy, in line with national energy and climate plans. This plan is directly linked to the implementation of the Just Transition Fund under the new ESF+ programs and the ERDF. A new formal version was filed on November 25, 2022.


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.


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.
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