Employment and Social Innovation (EASI)

  • https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1081


Total Budget: €919,47 million

Thematic Categories: Social Affairs and Human Rights, Labor Market, Entrepreneurship

Beneficiaries: Education and Training Centres, State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Association / Trade Union, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services, Other

Link; https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1081

Standard Eligibility Conditions; 

The EURES axis of EaSI is open to: national, regional and local authorities; employment services; social partner organisations and other interested parties. To apply for funding, eligible organisations must respond to a call for tender or/and to a call for proposals.

Microfinance axis of the EASI programme does not directly finance entrepreneurs, but enables selected microcredit providers in the EU to increase lending, by issuing guarantees, thereby sharing the providers' potential risk of loss. To apply find out if there are already microcredit providers in your country. To be able to use the micro loan if applicant ;

  • want to become self-employed or set up/develop a microenterprise (fewer than ten employees), particularly a social enterprise
  • are unemployed
  • have taken time out of the labour market
  • have difficulty getting conventional credit (because you're: female, considered too young or too old, a member of a minority group, or you have a disability, etc.).

The PROGRESS axis of EaSI is open to all public and/or private bodies, actors and institutions, and in particular:

  • national, regional and local authorities;
  • employment services;
  • specialist bodies provided for under Union law;
  • the social partners;
  • non-governmental organisations;
  • higher education institutions and research institutes;
  • experts in evaluation and in impact assessment;
  • national statistical offices;
  • the media.

To apply for funding, eligible organisations must respond to a call for tender or/and to a call for proposals.

Additional Information: No time constrains and no determined project budget. Pre-Financing option is valid depending on the duration of the project unless otherwise it is stated in project proposal (Please refer “Financial Guidelines for Applicants) Priority fields of the year can be found in annual work programme

Tips for Applicants; Actions co-financed under the EaSI programme can also constitute a solid baseline to activities developed under the Horizon 2020 programme. EaSI complemented actions of other EU-level programmes especially the ESF and Erasmus +. There is a good chance of upscaling the project previously funded under EaSI. EaSI Financial Instrument is complementary to other existing initiatives rather than overlapping such as COSME Programme.

Programme Details;

EaSI brings a clear EU value added: the programme is able to support projects with a larger scope and scale compared to what is possible at the national level or regional level. It helps to build EU level networks and partnerships, as well as to produce databases, studies, capacity building and mutual learning activities. Moreover, EaSI fosters social innovation and makes labour and financial markets more accessible. Finally, EaSI fills a clear gap in the supply of microcredits and support to social entrepreneurship across the EU.

EaSI brings together three EU programmes managed separately in the previous programming period 2007-2013: PROGRESS, EURES and Progress Microfinance. The main objectives of EaSI are the following:

•    Strengthen ownership of EU objectives and coordination of action at EU and national level in the areas of employment, social affairs and inclusion.

•    Support the development of adequate social protection systems and labour market policies.

•    Modernize EU legislation and ensure its effective application.

•    Promote geographical mobility and boost employment opportunities by developing an open labor market.

•    Increase the availability and accessibility of microfinance for vulnerable groups and micro- enterprises, and increase access to finance for social enterprises.


EASI Programme provide support for the following fields:

•    The modernization of employment and social policies with the PROGRESS axis (61% of the total budget).

•    Job mobility with the EURES axis (18% of the total budget).

•    Access to micro-finance and social entrepreneurship with the Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis (21% of the total budget).


Sub-Programme: EURES

EURES, which is the European network of employment services, should promote the better functioning of the labour markets by facilitating the voluntary transnational cross- border geographical mobility of workers, providing greater transparency on the labour market, ensuring the clearance of vacancies and applications for employment and supporting activities in the areas of placement, recruitment, advice and guidance services at national and cross-border level. Member States should be encouraged to integrate EURES services, making them available in a “one-stop shop”, where appropriate. EURES is a network of over 1200 advisors that help match job-seeking people with employers looking for people to hire. These advisors are in contact each day both with employers and people looking for jobs all throughout Europe. Because there is free movement of both people and goods throughout all EU member states, EURES seeks to increase the number of EU citizens living abroad in another member state through

 Supported actions

• Development and activities of EURES cross- border partnerships where requested by services territorially responsible for border regions;

• Provision of information, counselling, placement and recruitment services for cross-border workers;

• Development of the multilingual digital platform for the clearance of job vacancies and applications;

• Development of targeted mobility schemes, following calls for proposals, to fill job vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified, and/or to help workers with a propensity to be mobile, where a clear economic need has been identified;

• Mutual learning among EURES actors and training of EURES advisors, including EURES cross-border partnership advisors;

• Information and communication activities to raise awareness of the benefits of geographical and occupational mobility in general and of the activities and services provided by EURES.

Budget; The overall EURES budget is expected to be around €20 million per year. The following minimum percentages will be respected: (a) transparency of job vacancies, applications and any related information for applicants and employers: 32 %; (b) development of services for the recruitment and placing of workers in employment through the clearance of job vacancies and applications at Union level, in particular targeted mobility schemes: 30 %; (c) cross-border partnerships: 18%. Any remaining amount shall be allocated to one or more of the thematic sections referred to in points (a), (b), or (c), or to a combination of them.

Level of Financing (EU co-financing rate); 95%


This section of EaSI allows more money to be available for vulnerable groups (young people, minorities, women, low-skilled workers, etc.) needing financial support trying to set up their own businesses. Many of these people have great ideas for businesses but are sometimes are not able to follow through with these ideas because they are denied loans from banks or other private lenders. The Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis shall increase the access to, and the availability of, financing for legal and physical persons. Public and private financial intermediaries in the microfinance or social enterprise markets can apply (e.g. banks, non-bank microfinance institutions, social enterprise finance providers). Applicant organisations must be established and operating in a participating country of the EaSI programme. It must be noted that through this programme, individuals CANNOT directly apply for funds. This programme will make it easier for lenders/ loan providers/ banks to give funds to these vulnerable groups. You must apply directly with the loan provider that works within your member state.

Supported actions

•           Extend the support given to microcredit providers under the current European Progress Microfinance Facility (launched in 2010).

•           Provide funding for capacity-building of microfinance institutions.

•           Support the development of the social investment market and facilitate access to finance for social enterprises.

Budget; The total proposed budget for the microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis is around €171,15 million for the period 2014-2020. The following minimum percentages will be respected: (a) microfinance for vulnerable groups and micro- enterprises: 45%; (b) social entrepreneurship: 45%.

Level of Financing (EU co-financing rate); Except in the case of joint actions, the financial appropriations allocated to the Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis shall cover the full cost of the actions implemented through financial instruments.


The PROGRESS programme aims to help EU Member States “modernize” employment and social policies. This programme tackles three specific areas: unemployment (with a key emphasis on youth unemployment, but also addressing other areas in unemployment), working conditions, and social protection against poverty. The Progress axis shall support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Union instruments and policies and promote evidence-based policy-making, social innovation and social progress, in partnership with the social partners, civil society organisations and public and private bodies. Any private or public actor within the EU (or groups not in countries in the EU but part of the EEA or EFTA agreement) may apply for funding within PROGRESS by answering a relevant “call” found in the PROGRESS work programme.

Supported actions

1- Analytical activities:

- gathering of data and statistics;

- surveys, studies, analyses and reports;

- qualitative and quantitative evaluations and impact assessments;

- monitoring and assessment of the transposition and application of Union law;

- preparation and implementation of social policy experimentation;

- dissemination of the results of those analytical activities.

2- Mutual-learning, awareness and dissemination activities:

-    exchanges and dissemination of good practice, innovative approaches and experience, peer reviews, benchmarking and mutual learning at European level;

-    Council Presidency events, conferences and seminars;

-    training of legal and policy practitioners;

-    drafting and publication of guides, reports and educational material and measures relating

to information, communication and media coverage of initiatives supported by the Programme;

-    information and communication activities;

-    development and maintenance of information systems in order to exchange and disseminate information on Union policy and legislation and on the labour market.

3- Support with regard to

-    the operating costs of key Union-level networks the activities of which relate to and contribute to the objectives of the Progress axis;

 -   capacity-building of national administrations and specialist services;

-    organisation of working groups of national officials;

-    networking and cooperation among specialist bodies and other relevant stakeholders;

-    funding of European-level observatories, including on key thematic sections;

-    exchange of personnel between national administrations.

Budget; The total proposed budget for Progress is around €500 million. The following minimum percentages will be respected:

(a)        employment, in particular to fight youth unemployment 20%;

(b)        social protection, social inclusion and the reduction and prevention of poverty 50%;

(c)        working conditions 10%. From the overall allocation for the Progress axis, and within its different thematic sections, 15% to 20%.

Level of Financing (EU co-financing rate); 80%

Find a Call; https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1081&langId=en&furtherCalls=yes&callType=2



Work Programme;


Examples of EASI Projects;


  • Cost-effectiveness of Policies and Strategies Aimed at Prolonging Careers in the Middle and in the End

Call identification number: VP/2013/013

Participating countries: Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom

Project duration: 1 October 2014-30 September 2016

EU contribution in euros: 163 268.86

Policy area: Social protection and social inclusion/Social security schemes

Policy sub-area: Administrative cooperation and exchanges of data

Target groups: Researchers, Policy-makers, Citizens

Implementation country: Finland

The project was based on the observation that there is very little evidence on the cost-effectiveness of various welfare policies. The lack of reliable and appropriate data were seen as one of the greatest obstacles to obtaining information on the impact of welfare policies. Thus, the project aimed to produce the evidence lacking on the cost-effectiveness of the welfare policies and to put forward policy recommendations based on the evidence gathered.

  • New Dimension in Social Protection Towards Community-Based Living

Call identification number: VP/2013/013

Project duration: 1 August 2014-31 July 2016

EU contribution in euros: 182 177.14

Policy area: Social protection and social inclusion Target groups: National policy-makers in the field of deinstitutionalization; National professionals in the field of disability; Ultimate target groups: people with disabilities (intellectual, multiple, autism and psychosocial).

Policy sub-area: Social Services of general Interest

Implementation country: Hungary

The project aimed to fill this gap and draft evidence-based proposals for policies on the revision of social services related to the transition from institutional to community-based care.

  • IMPact project – Improving Measurement of Public support to PHS


Call identification number: VP/2013/010

Project duration: 15 October 2014-14 April 2016

EU contribution in euros: 255 748.76

Policy area: Social protection and social inclusion

Policy sub-area: Social Services of General Interest

Implementing/participating countries: Most European

countries, since the project was implemented by a number of pan-European associations

Target groups: National institutions providing personal and household services (PHS); Professionals working in PHS; People receiving PHS.

the action had four specific objectives:

1. to overview and analyse existing studies on employment and the budget effects of support given by public authorities;

2. to fill methodological gaps of employment and budget effects’ measurement in the PHS sector;

3. to prepare a practical and ready-to-use toolkit designed for EU Member States to implement changes in the PHS sector;

4. to contribute to European know-how on the issue


Examples of Previous Calls 

  • VT/ 2019/003  Study on the Impact of the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (SBI) and its Follow-up Actions
  • VT/ 2018/026  Maintenance and development of the EU labour market policy statistical database
  • VT/ 2018/024  Framework Contract on Helpdesk and Other Support Services to the EURES Portal
  • VT/ 2018/013  Framework Contract on Services related to the Coordination and Provision of Support to the EURES Network

Examples of Current Calls 


  • P/ 2019/013 Operating grants 2020 to EU level networks having signed a framework partnership agreement for the period 2018-2021 and being active in the areas of social inclusion and poverty reduction, or microfinance and social enterprise finance
  • VP/ 2019/011  EaSI: EURES and PROGRESS - Mobility Exchange programme for SME staff (MobiliseSME)