EUSDR ESF Managing Authorities Network


About the network


The ESF Managing Authorities Network of the EUSDR was established following the Meeting of Ministers in charge of EU funds at the margins of the EUSDR Annual Forum in Ulm, Germany in 2015. It aims at fostering transnational cooperation within the ESF Operational Programmes in the Danube Region, to thereby connect cooperation and investment, and serve as a joint knowledge hub for implementation, planning and exchange of experience with social policies.


The network is organised by PAC9 “People and Skills” and PAC10 “Institutional Capacity” together with the ESF Managing Authorities in the Danube Region and other partners. In this respect, the cooperation capitalizes upon an ongoing exchange of experience and mutual learning with the EUSBSR and its ESF MA network, as well as inputs from the EC (DG EMPL).  So far, 6 meetings of the network have been held with the participation of the nine EU MS in the Danube Region implementing the ESF.


The network has gradually and systematically gained in maturityranging from the discussion of concrete examples/projects and challenges and opportunities in the implementation of transnational cooperation within the ESF up to the identification of common topics and, subsequently, the definition of joint text modules related to the EUSDR/transnational cooperation in the upcoming MFF 2021-27. Joint topics and issues to be addressed are e.g. women in the labour market, social innovation, inclusion of vulnerable groups / Roma Inclusion, administrative capacity, the ageing population, lifelong learning, social entrepreneurship etc.


A joint Vision Paper was adopted to define the scope, the future and next steps of this network. The implementation of social policies within macro-regional strategies presented at the ESF Committee in Vienna in December 2018. Foundation of the network, related to a meeting of ministers in charge of EU funds.


Visting Magdas Hotel - A Social Enterprise in Vienna

10th Meeting, July 2022 – Concrete Plans

9th Meeting, Online, December 2021 – How to Make Things with Words

8th Meeting, Online, June 2021 – Back to the Future II

7th Meeting, Online, December 2020 – Back to the Future

6th Meeting, Vienna, March 2020 – Shaping the Future

5th Meeting, Sofia, October 2019 – Making Transnational Cooperation Concrete 


Discussion of concrete projects and examples for transnational cooperation, of how to integrate transnational cooperation in the MFF 2021-27; development of a draft text to be used for the new Operational Programmes and transnational cooperation related to the EUSDR. This can be used both for OPs dedicated entirely to transnational cooperation as well as for OPs integrating transnational cooperation. MAs expressed the wish to meet twice per year.

4th Meeting, Bratislava, September 2018 – Cooperating across Borders


Presentation of transnational cooperation in Poland and Bulgaria.

5 countries of the Danube Region (BG, HR, SI, SK, Baden-Württemberg, (+PL)) stressed that they intend to implement transnational cooperation in the upcoming multi-annual financial framework. 

In this regard, they identified the main topics related to transnational cooperation: 

  • Youth employment, long-term unemployment and activating of elderly people. Institutional capacity will be focused as a relevant cross-sectoral issue. 
  • Participating countries highlighted the need to further work on transnational cooperation, both in geographical terms and related to common topics such as capacity building of MAs, intensify cooperation, exchange of good practices. 

The meeting was held back-to-back with a meeting of the coordinators of social policies in the MRS, which led to a presentation of MRS at the ESF committee in Vienna in December 2018. 

3rd Meeting, Vienna, May 2017 – Exchange with the Baltic Sea Region and Brussels


Presentations of the ESF network of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the ESF transnational platforms implemented by AEIDL on behalf of DG EMPL, and Baden-Württemberg on lean fund management.

Discussion on joint topics for transnational cooperation: an overview of projects could contribute to identifying potential for transnational cooperation and synergies.

2nd Meeting, Munich, July 2016 – Taking the first Steps


Discussion of simplified cost options, common topics for potential transnational calls, including their implementation.

The cooperation between PAC9 and PAC10 in the framework of the network was initiated (ESF OPs also support TO11/institutional capacity).

1st Meeting, Ulm, October 2015 – Birth of the Network


Foundation of the network, related to a meeting of ministers in charge of EU funds. 

Besides simplification and e-cohesion, transnational cooperation was seen as one of the main challenges in the implementation of ESF OPs.