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Welcome to the ESF portal of the Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family in the Federal State of Brandenburg

The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial instrument of the European Union (EU) to improve the living conditions of people in Europe and to increase employment and economic growth. It is used for support measures in education, employment and social inclusion and contributes to strengthening social cohesion.

The authority in charge of the ESF in the Federal State of Brandenburg is the Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family (MASGF). Other ministries of Brandenburg are also involved in the implementation of the ESF with their own funding programmes:


  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MBJS)
  • Ministry for Science, Research and Culture (MWFK)
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning (MIL)
  • Ministry of the Rural Development, Environment and Agriculture (MLUL)
  • Ministry of Justice and for Europe and Consumer Protection (MdJEV)

ESF 2014-2020
ESF 2007-2013


ESF 2014-2020


Brandenburg has a new status in the EU 2014-2020 funding period: Classed as economically underdeveloped before, thanks to success over the last two decades, the state is now classed as a transition region. As a result, there will be less EU funding for the state compared to the 2007-2013 funding period. A total of 362.42 million euros will be made available to the state for the matters covered by the European Social Fund (ESF).

The operational program for Brandenburg for the ESF 2014-2020 was approved on 12th December 2014 by the European Commission. It was drafted in close cooperation with the ministry’s actors and partners, specifically its economic and social welfare partners, social welfare organisations and administrative districts, as well as other interest groups and non-governmental organisations.

The programme is based on the following overall target: “To improve employment opportunities in Brandenburg and promote education, the development and retention of trained professionals, and integration in the workplace”.

Its most important objectives are
To improve participation in educational programmes and to support those making the transition from education to employment
This includes promoting inclusive education, helping young people to choose a profession, improving the training opportunities available to school leavers, making the training goals / abilities of young people and businesses’ job offers / requirement profiles compatible with each other, and preventing people from dropping out of school and training courses.
To make lifelong learning and further training possible
This includes increasing the number of people completing tertiary education courses and supporting individualised and on-the-job training, including for employee groups that have been under-represented until now, such as older people, low-qualified workers and atypical employees.
To promote innovation and entrepreneurship
This includes strengthening competitiveness and innovation in the economy through support for small and medium-sized businesses that are trying to take on highly qualified professionals for the first time in particular, strengthening companies’ areas of expertise to enable them to retain specialist professionals and promoting the foundation of new businesses.
To promote the integration of disadvantaged groups in gainful employment
This includes improving the employability and active integration of the unemployed, reducing the number of the long-term unemployed primarily through integration in employment, and integrating children and young people from socially weak households early and more effectively with the involvement of their parents.
The European Commission is expected to approve the programme within six months. The opening event for the ESF OP 2014-2020 is set to take place on 6th November 2014 in Potsdam.




ESF 2007-2013

Institutional areas of responsibility and contacts

The Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family (MASF) tasks the awarding authorities with issuing ESF funding. The awarding authorities are the State Agency for Structure and Employment (LASA) in Brandenburg GmbH and the State Office for Social Affairs and Patient Care for the Federal State of Brandenburg (LASV). Applications for funding can be submitted to both organisations. LASA Brandenburg GmbH is the awarding authority for the largest proportion of ESF funding programmes.

Information on the awarding authorities can be found at:


The Coordination Office of the Ministry of Economics and European Affairs for the Federal State of Brandenburg is responsible for the overall coordination of EU funds in the Federal State of Brandenburg. It chairs the joint monitoring committee.


Coordination Office for EU funding

Coordination of all funds and chairing of the monitoring committee

Ministry for Economic and European Affairs for the Federal State of Brandenburg

Heinrich-Mann-Allee 107, 14473 Potsdam


Administrative authority for the ESF in Brandenburg

Administration of the Operational Programme for the ESF

Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family (MASF), Department 34

Heinrich-Mann-Allee 103, 14473 Potsdam

Email: esf.info@masf.brandenburg.de


Certifying authority for the ESF in the Federal State of Brandenburg

Certification of expenditure declarations vis-à-vis the EU Commission and creation of payment applications

Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family (MASF), Department 16

Heinrich-Mann-Allee 103, 14473 Potsdam


Testing authority for the ESF in the Federal State of Brandenburg

Testing the implementation of the ESF in Brandenburg as well as creation of control reports for submission to the European Commission

Ministry for Finance (MdF), 

Steinstraße 104-106, 14480 Potsdam


Independent testing organisation:

Independent testing organisation at the awarding authority

LASA Brandenburg GmbH, Wetzlarer Straße 54, 14482 Potsdam


You can find detailed information on the implementation of the ESF in the Federal State of Brandenburg in the Operational Programme.

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Funding focus areas


The European Social Fund is used in the Federal State of Brandenburg to strengthen human resources, i.e. the skills and knowledge of individuals, in order to increase employment levels and promote economic growth.


This is the overriding aim of the Operational Programme of the Federal State of Brandenburg for the ESF in the funding period 2007–2013;it means using the funds more intensively than before to promote learning and professional qualifications and to prepare people for the ever-changing conditions on the employment market.

In order to achieve the aim of boosting employment and economic growth by strengthening human resources, priority axes, which define the basic focus areas of the funding policy, have been established as part of Brandenburg's Operational Programme for the ESF in the funding period 2007–2013. These are:


A Improving the flexibility and competitiveness of employees and companies 

B Improving human capital 

C Improving access to employment as well as the social integration of the disabled


The German Federal States have agreed to adopt these three focus areas as priorities in their corresponding Operational Programmes. This will make the situation across Germany more comparable.


Brandenburg is also one of six Federal States which has set out its own priorities for European cooperation: 


E Transnational measures


The Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family (MASF) for the Federal State of Brandenburg has launched a programme to promote the transnational exchange of knowledge and experience, with the aim of ensuring that more companies and employment market stakeholders in Brandenburg exchange experiences with other EU regions so that they can learn from each other. Transnational cooperation is also included and promoted in the other aforementioned priority axes.


In addition to the aforementioned priorities there is also another priority axis:


D Technical assistance

This includes preparatory, supportive and reinforcement measures for ESF funding, e.g. advising employment market stakeholders on ESF funding programmes and filing applications, assessing the effectiveness of funding programmes through studies and evaluations, and developing information and communications measures, such as creating brochures and flyers on ESF programmes, holding events or setting up and maintaining this ESF website.


The Brandenburg employment policy programme forms the framework for the practical implementation of the funding policy. It includes the funding programmes which are implemented in line with the aims of the Operational Programme using funds from the ESF and the Federal State of Brandenburg.

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Funding levels

Approximately EUR 620.25 million are available in the Federal State of Brandenburg from the European Social Fund (ESF) for the funding period 2007–2013.



Fund allocation according to priority axes:


Priority axes:

Allocation of funds (rounded off) in millions of Euros


Improving the flexibility and competitiveness of employees and companies



Improving human capital



Improving access to employment as well as the social integration of the disabled



Technical assistance



Transnational measures






Allocation in percentage terms according to priority axes:

Finanzvolumen englisch

The ESF funds provided by the European Union must be co-financed with national, i.e. public or private, funds. In the Federal State of Brandenburg, this proportion usually amounts to 25%.


In the funding period 2007–2013, the Federal State of Brandenburg is also an Objective 1 area (Convergence), with two development areas, for which, on account of their economic, social and territorial characteristics, appropriation of ESF funds has been set out as follows: North-East EUR 352,134,834 and South-West EUR 268,114,781. The North-East regions are: Prignitz, Ostprignitz-Ruppin, Oberhavel, Barnim, Uckermark, Märkisch-Oderland, Oder-Spree and Frankfurt/Oder. The South-West regions are: Spree-Neiße, Cottbus, Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Elbe-Elster, Dahme-Spreewald, Teltow-Fläming, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Potsdam, Havelland and Brandenburg an der Havel.

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Horizontal objectives

Horizontal objectives for the EU fund are defined as tasks and goals which must be taken into consideration as a matter of principle in the planning and implementation of programmes and projects in the relevant policy areas. The community of states of the European Union (EU) has stipulated that, for EU funds, equal opportunities and sustainability must be considered and implemented as horizontal objectives.

The Brandenburg Federal State government has stipulated in the Operational Programme for the ESF funding allocation in the current funding period 2007–2013 that the horizontal objective of shaping demographic change must also be taken into consideration. As a result, the following three horizontal objectives are being pursued:


Improving equal opportunities and gender equality, including the reconciliation of work and family life 

  • The Federal State government will ensure that the ESF is allocated fairly and that access to the assistance measures is free from discrimination. Successful beneficiaries of ESF funding must make an active contribution towards the achievement of these objectives. Targeted assistance measures should also be implemented to improve access to employment and promote social integration for disadvantaged individuals and individuals or groups at risk of marginalisation. Improving the balance between work and family life is particularly important. Individuals, particularly women, should receive support in the form of family-friendly reintegration into the workplace after taking parental leave. Companies should receive advice and support for setting up and developing family-friendly company organisations and flexible working arrangements. Equal access to knowledge and skills should be developed at every level.


Promoting sustainability   

  • The promotion of sustainable economic, social and ecological development is a guiding principle in the labour policy of the Federal State of Brandenburg in terms of the ESF. It goes hand in hand with a sound understanding of fairness and has a multi-generational dimension. ESF funding therefore particularly addresses the social dimension of sustainability.
    • In terms of its economic dimension, ESF funding should, first and foremost, make a contribution to reducing unemployment and making companies more flexible and competitive.
    • The social dimension of ESF funding plays a vital role. Social equality includes, but is not limited to, the social integration of individuals, for example by reducing unemployment and tackling education deprivation.
    • In terms of its ecological dimension, ESF funding aims to modernise companies and infrastructures from an ecological perspective. This includes investigative projects aimed at making job descriptions and profiles greener and restructuring businesses to make sure that they are economising on resources.


Shaping demographic change 

  • Helping to shape demographic change is a fundamental principle of ESF funding. Falling birth rates, an ageing population and migration all have effects that can be counteracted, for example, through the promotion of family-friendly working conditions, which do not discriminate on the basis of age, and measures to keep skilled personnel from leaving. After all, there is a growing demand from employers in Brandenburg for qualified and skilled personnel, and yet there is still a high level of unemployment. Measures aimed at further education and lifelong learning are therefore required to make individuals more employable and flexible. Measures that will help keep highly qualified personnel and junior staff here in Brandenburg or attract them from elsewhere are also of huge interest. To this end, it is essential that companies in Brandenburg ensure that their job offers and employment conditions are attractive.

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Brandenburg goes European

Fahnen © Angelika Bentin - Fotolia.com

Promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience between employment market stakeholders in Brandenburg and European partners is one of the Federal State government's fundamental aims. In many ESF-financed funding programmes there is therefore the option to make parts transnational. The key aims include: learning from the experiences of others, testing good solutions in terms of their transferability and developing joint strategies to overcome social and economic challenges.


The "Directive for Promotion of the Transnational Exchange of Knowledge and Experience for the Design of a Future-Oriented Work Policy in the State Brandenburg" makes provision for an ESF funding programme, which recognises the huge importance of European cooperation in reducing unemployment and boosting economic growth. It promotes measures in which, as part of the exchange of experiences with other European partners, employment policy topics such as staff and organisational development, the securing of qualified personnel, operational or job profile-related qualification concepts, tackling regional unemployment, improving the balance between work and family life, career orientation, etc. are discussed and put to good use.


In line with this directive, excursions, study visits, specialist seminars or workshops are promoted to highlight and discuss topics of common interest. Those entitled to apply include companies, associations, trade associations and social organisations, trade unions and public administrative bodies in the Federal State of Brandenburg. As a result of these initiatives, companies and employees learn more about how work is organised in partner countries and develop the necessary skills to cooperate with other countries. Social partners, local authorities and other organisations can also examine the extent to which successful strategies from the employment policies of other countries can be transferred to their own regions.


An overview of all ESF funding programmes in Brandenburg can be found here.


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