The thematic objective, Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility, includes a large range of investment priorities:

  • development of business incubators, business creation
  • local initiative for job creation
  • infrastructure for public employment services
  • access to employment
  • integration of young people
  • equality between men and women and work/life balance
  • adaptation of workers to change
  • active and healthy ageing
  • modernisation of labour market institutions

Key messages

Good health is good for the economy. By contrast the economic crisis of 2008 and 2011, with effects on unemployment did, and will continue to, adversely affect public health: a study in the EU-15 identified unemployment as one of the 10 most important contributors to the total burden of disease in the 1990s. Structural fund investments will bring health gains when they increase rates of employment and decrease unemployment, and when they improve beneficiaries’ prospects of finding gainful employment or otherwise increasing their earnings capacity.

The quality of employment is also very important to health. Investments that promote high-quality jobs, improve working conditions and health and safety at work will yield health gains.

Structural Funds carry out a broad range of investments to support job creation and promote better working conditions. In 2014-2020, the ex-ante conditionalities include support for active and healthy ageing and equal opportunities. Moreover, the European platform against poverty and social exclusion calls for the better use of EU funds to combat exclusion and discrimination. Actions in these areas can have a positive influence on health.