Transnational cooperation in the European Social Fund (ESF) should help to develop better and more effective employment and social policies and to improve the delivery of reforms, essentially by enabling people to learn from experiences and good practice in other countries. Transnational cooperation is implemented in three different ways: on the basis of common themes, whereby Member States benefit from an EU-level platform established and operated by the Commission (the Common Framework); without central coordination (the flexible approach); and through a combined approach of the above.
The Common Framework’s primary focus is to bring together project promoters from different Member States and facilitate cooperation between them within transnational projects. It also serves as a forum for discussing issues relevant to the ESF between stakeholders in the different countries. A set of common themes has been agreed to guide work within the Common framework, one of which is Employment. For each of the themes the Commission has set up a Thematic Network including representatives from the bodies managing the ESF Operational Programmes, policy experts, stakeholders, academics and social partners. These Thematic Networks continue the activities of the Learning Networks established in the 2007-2013 period. Anette Scoppetta is acting as thematic expert for the Thematic Network Employment.
The Thematic Network Employment aims at helping Member States to improve the services they provide for the long-term unemployed and for people who want to develop in their careers. The network aims to achieve its goal by promoting good practice and mutual learning and exploiting these through the meetings of the network and other forms of transnational exchange and cooperation. Core outputs are White Papers on particular themes, which set out lessons that can be passed to other countries and regions. They will be compiled into a White Book.