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European Social Fund Plus

ESF+ for practitioners

This section provides technical information for organisations tasked with implementing the ESF+ such as Managing Authorities or Implementing Bodies.

Simplified reimbursement modes

Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) are a key tool for achieving result orientation and simplification – a strategic objective both for the Commission and the Member States.

The main advantage of the use of simplified costs is that the tracing of every euro of co-financed expenditure to individual supporting documents is no longer required. They also significantly reduce the administrative burden for both managing authorities and beneficiaries, and allow administrations to shift the focus from collecting and verifying financial documents to achieving policy objectives.

Comprehensive information on the use of Simplified Cost Options, as well as information on Joint action plans (JAP - relevant under the previous program period 2014-2020) can be found via the dedicated guidance page.

Financial instruments

The fi-compass web portal offers a wide range of resources for Member States, managing authorities, financial institutions, project leaders and all stakeholders. It provides comprehensive information on the use of financial instruments under the different EU funds jointly delivered with Member States and regions.

Financial instruments co-funded by the European Social Fund Plus are a sustainable and efficient way to invest in the growth and development of people and their skills in order to promote employment and social inclusion goals across the European Union.

A financial instrument can be defined as an equity investment, loan, guarantee or other risk-sharing financial package. New 2021-2027 rules strengthen the use of financial instruments as a way of implementing ESF+ activities. They can support a broad range of development objectives, benefitting a wide range of recipients – with the potential for funds to be reused for further investments.