Collaboration and experience sharing between countries is an effective tool for accessing innovated ideas and approaches, including the gaining of new skills. The Transnational Learning Networks serves as pilots for identifying specific policy needs for transnational cooperation, testing effective exchange and cooperation arrangements, such as learning from others in the communities who have practical experience in solving problems/issues, and for gaining a critical mass of commitment from Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies.
By capacity building and mutual learning between ESF managing and implementing bodies and strategic stakeholders of different EU countries, the Agency aims to contribute to the ESF policy through learning from other countries. The following are the EU learning networks the Agency is actively participating:
The Baltic Sea Network European Social Fund (BSN-ESF), 2011-ongoing
The Baltic Sea Network-ESF was initiated by the Swedish ESF-Council in 2011 in order to strengthen the transnational cooperation between Managing Authorities of the European Social Fund (ESF), intermediate / implementing bodies and projects in the Baltic Sea Region. It also aimed at strengthening the link between the ESF and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The network will actively take part in the Common Framework, the support structure for transnational cooperation provided by the European Commission according to Article 10 of the ESF-regulation 1304/2013. The members of the network come from Sweden, the Åland lslands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Land of Hamburg.
3B ESF network, 2011-ongoing
Since 2011, the representatives from the ESFA participates in the annual 3B meetings of all institutions managing ESF funds in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. While comparing the rates between the three Baltic countries, participants are searching for more efficient and effective ways to administrate the European Social Fund means.
Informal Network of ESF Information Officers (INIO), 1995-ongoing
The informal Network of ESF information officers was set up by the ESF information sector in 1995 as part of the Commission's information and communication strategy for the Social Fund. The Network brings together those dealing with communication within national ESF administrations and at European level. The Network aims to enhance the visibility of the Fund by exchanging ideas and best practice; allow Member States and the Commission to compare information approaches, outputs and techniques and to learn from each other's successes, failures and problems experienced along the way; to guide Member States in the implementation of the rules on Structural Funds information and communication measures.
FEAD community, 2016-ongoing
The FEAD Community is an open membership network for people providing assistance to the most deprived in Europe. This includes national FEAD Managing Authorities, organisations delivering or interested in FEAD-funded activities, EU level NGOs and EU institutions. The FEAD Community brings together all those who are working to reduce the worst forms of poverty in European countries. It is a space for members to share good practice and encourage new ideas and to discuss how to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived in Europe.It provides a space for good practice to be shared and encourages new ideas for how to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons in the EU. The aim of the FEAD Community are to contribute to learning and capacity building on particular themes, operational issues and programming topics. They identify challenges and share good practices on themes and implementation topics. ESF Transnational Network on Simplification’ started on November 9-10th, 2015. The main aim of the TN – the transnational cooperation around SCOs bring significant added value for all parties involved in the platform, in terms of: ensuring a better understanding of EU rules and practical implications, addressing potential legal constraints at national and regional levels; promoting a harmonised framework at EU Level; fostering integrated approaches to SCOs, which go beyond mere administrative and legal aspects; identifying key issues and solutions for the effective implementation of SCOs, based on experience; defining possible common methodological and operational routes; addressing specific cases (e.g. irregularities/non conformities) and preventing potential risks; formulating common approaches/solutions for correct and effective implementation; proposing specific recommendations to improve the use of SCOs. Methodological support division has been involved to this TN as a fool member since 8th Meeting, which was held on 15-16th March 2018 in Athens.
Transnational Network of ERDF/CF SCO practitioners, 2018-ongoing
Transnational Network of ERDF/CF SCO practitioners started from 20th November of 2018 and Methodological Support Division has been involved since the 1st Meeting. The main aim of the Network – to engage Member State ERDF/CF SCO experts in a regular discussion with a view to facilitating the use of SCOs in the ERDF/CF domain, and to establishing a ‘transnational network of ERDF/CF SCO practitioners’. During this network, representatives of Member States could share knowledge and practices, learn from each other, develop and test ideas in a ‘safe environment’, through informal discussions, discuss/define proposals for a better use of SCOs together with representatives of the Commission. Since 2018, the representatives of Member States and European Commission have met regularly. The representatives from Methodological Support Division are actively involved and participated not only in the International networks, but also in sub-groups – TN subgroup on ‘Simplification’, TN subgroup on ‘EU Level SCOs’, TN Subgroup on “Audit” activities, also actively participate in the preparation new EU level SCOs together with PPMI group.
Participation in TAIEX-REGIO PEER 2 PEER program, 2018-ongoing
TAIEX-REGIO PEER 2 PEER facilitates exchanges between the national and regional bodies that manage and administer funds from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund. It helps civil servants share knowledge, good practice, and practical approaches with their peers in other EU Member States seeking to upgrade the administrative capacity, thereby improving EU investment outcomes.
Closed EU learning networks, ESFA participated:
- Result Based Management International ESF Learning Network, 2009-2014
- Learning Network From School to Work - S2W, 2013-2019
- Active Inclusion (AI) Learning Network, 2013-2015