Reports 2017

EU Structural Funds - Fit for social convergence? - Expert workshop

21 March 2017


The aim of this expert workshop, organised with the support of the Social Progress Imperative, was to take stock of the social impact of the EU Structural Funds and their potential in achieving social convergence across EU regions. In particular, the issues addressed during the workshop included the existing evidence on the social impact of Structural Funds (especially the ESF), the relevant instruments and methodologies available to EU regions to make the best use of EU funds, and the extent to which the latter take social matters into consideration. The event brought together academics, local authorities, representatives of EU institutions and NGOs with expertise on the topic. The EPC made use of the ideas exchanged during the workshop to prepare a Policy Brief which presented how employment and social policies are dealt with in the current design and functioning of EU Cohesion Policy and developed a series of policy recommendations.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the EPC and President Emeritus of the European Council, delivered the opening speech of the workshop. The speakers included Adriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director at the Directorate for Investment, DG Employment, European Commission, Gunnar Muent, Director for Innovation and Competitiveness at the European Investment Bank, Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative, Paolo Veneri, Head of the Territorial Indicators Unit at the OECD, Jordi Angusto, Head of socioeconomic analysis at Catalonia Europe Foundation, Giampaolo Montaletti, Deputy Director General at the Lombardy Executive Agency for Education, Training and Employment, Marcos Dominguez-Torreiro, Research Fellow at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit at the Smart and Sustainable Growth Competence Centre, DG Regio, European Commission. The workshop was moderated by Claire Dhéret, Senior Policy Analyst at the EPC.