Innovative Approaches Tackling Long-Term Unemployment


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

European Social Fund +

Programme Description

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is the European Union (EU)’s main instrument for investing in people.
Τhe ESF+ will continue to provide an important contribution to the EU’s employment, social, education and skills policies, including structural reforms in these areas.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



Innovative Approaches Tackling Long-Term Unemployment


The aim of this Call is to encourage applicants to transfer or scale up proven and promising social innovations aimed at facilitating the integration or reintegration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market and/or fostering their social inclusion.

Detailed Call Description

Transnational projects are expected to reflect all three following key areas:

  • cooperation with local employment stakeholders and partnerships between local employers and communities
  • improving the mobilisation (mapping and outreach) of long-term unemployed persons (including those facing the most barriers, such as persons with disabilities)
  • providing an individualised, accessible, and inclusive approach for long-term unemployed persons

Applicants must propose projects that include at least the following six predefined mandatory categories of activities:

  • Strengthening of collaboration and capacity building
  • Fostering partnerships with local communities and local employers
  • Mapping and reaching out to the target group
  • Empowering the long term unemployed and enhancing employability and social inclusion through tailored support and guidance
  • Offering various working options and opportunities for long-term unemployed persons
  • Participating in mutual learning events

Applicants should demonstrate in their projects a focus on achieving the recommended outcomes, specifically by targeting the following areas (this list is not exhaustive):

  • The capacities of participating entities built to provide sustainable solutions to reducing long-term unemployment
  • Enhanced stakeholder diversity and collaboration in addressing long-term unemployment
  • Reduced long-term unemployment in the area targeted by the project
  • Strengthened forms of personalised coaching service provision for long-term unemployed persons

The following elements form the core of a project, i.e., each application shall cover all the elements. However, applicants are free to choose how to integrate or combine all these elements in the project framework:

  • Conceptual framework
  • Relevance of social innovation
  • Transnational partnership
  • Diversity of stakeholders
  • User-centred approach
  • Impact measurement and management
  • Dissemination and communication

For those seeking potential transnational partners, the Social Innovation Match (SIM) database offers a platform to identify organisations whose work can inspire and contribute to collaborative efforts across the European Union.  SIM provides a new opportunity for social innovation project promoters to gain visibility and recognition for their entities across the European Union.

Also you can visit the Granting Authority’s ( and the European Commission’s (https://ec.europa. eu/european-social-fund-plus/en/esf-social-innovation) websites regularly, since the Granting Authority will use them to publish Frequently Asked Questions and Call updates, if necessary.

Call Total Budget


Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

The estimated size of a grant is between €1.000.000 and €3.000.000 per project (but this does not preclude the submission/selection of applications requesting other amounts), constituting no more than 80% of the total project budget. A co-financing of at least 20% must thus come from other sources than the EU budget.

Grants under this call shall take the form of lump sums. The amount of the lump sum will be established for the whole project (overall lump sum) and per work package separately in accordance with the Rules of the Use of Lump Sum Contributions under the ESF+ SI+ Initiative.

Thematic Categories

  • Employment
  • Social Affairs & Human Rights

Eligibility for Participation

  • Associations
  • Businesses
  • Chambers
  • Educational Institutions
  • Legal Entities
  • Local Authorities
  • NGOs
  • Non Profit Organisations
  • Other Beneficiaries
  • Private Bodies
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

To be eligible, the applicant acting as coordinator, co-applicants, and associated partners must:

  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies);
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States;
    • Non-EU countries: listed European Economic Area (EEA) countries and countries associated to the ESF+ (Iceland, Montenegro, Norway and Serbia) or countries with which an association agreement is being negotiated and for which the agreement enters into force by the deadline of this Call.

Applicant, co-applicants and associated partners can be (non-exhaustive list):

  • Public employment services (PES), employment agencies, job centres
  • Local and regional authorities, municipalities
  • Local community centres, hubs
  • Non-governmental and non-for-profit entities (e.g., civil society organisations, associations, foundations, social enterprises, etc.)
  • Companies, representative bodies linked to the labour market, including chambers of commerce and other trade associations
  • Education and research entities
  • Guidance, consultancy service providers linked to employment, social inclusion
  • Public and private funders, etc.

Consortium composition:

Only consortia consisting of at least 2 legal eligible entities (representing two different eligible countries. Among these entities at least 1 legal entity must demonstrate a proven track record of experience in the field of long term unemployment (see Annex 8 ‘Declaration of the professional competences’). An entity may only participate as the coordinator in one consortium.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


EU Contact Point

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