Making a difference in life + CD

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  •  25-8-2018
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Издателство:European Commission
ISBN:9789279126765 Тегло (гр.): Формат: 240 / 240 Състояние: Мн. Добро
Making a difference in life + CD Тhe EU / investing in people through the European Social Fund

Making a difference in life / Personal stories from the European. Social Fund

The European Union - what does it really do for us?The European Social Fund is one answer to the question. It invests in people: some 10 million of them every year throughout the 27 EU Member States. The impact is often felt at a personal level, and the 54 stories in this book show how the ESF is making a real difference to real people's lives.

The ESF was set up in 1957 and today accounts for about 10% of the EU budget. This money is spent on a wide range of individual projects across the EU, formulated nationally and locally to meet the specific needs of people in differing situations.

It reflects the far-sighted understanding of the EU's founders, more than half a century ago, that building unity between nations depends on more than treaties and trade deals. The ESF is a practical demonstration of solidarity between Member States and communities, enabling European citizens to adapt to the new challenges that have ('volved over the years. It implements the shared values of European society, based on fair treatment and a decent quality of life for everyone. In practice this means access to employment, healthcare, housing and education, as well as care and support for the more vulnerable members of society.

The key principle underlying the ESF is empowerment: helping people to help themselves, make their own choices and realise their own ambitions. This book tells the stories of 54 individuals who have taken up the opportunities offered by ESF-funded initiatives.

What all the stories have in common is that they are tales of people who have resolved to do better for themselves or refused to give up in the face of obstacles; of setbacks; sometimes indeed of the most harrowing hardship. They have all reacted to improve their situation, or to get back on track. But they have needed that helping hand; that extra bit of support; that added confidence that ESF projects can offer.

The interviews focus on women and men, on every age group from teenagers to pensioners, in urban and rural communities, in every country of the European Union. They feature ambitious entrepreneurs with an idea to sell, parents juggling work and childrearing, people fighting to overcome mental or physical disabilities, and others wanting to integrate into societies they are not familiar with. 
And as Per Larsson, from Sweden, puts it: "It shows people do have the power inside if they have the chance to develop it."

The examples illustrate that the EU still has some way to go to achieve true social cohesion.The conditions in which people live and the benefits they enjoy can vary from one region to another. Since the 1980s, the ESF has targeted funds towards the less well-off regions of Europe, with the aim of closing the gap between rich and poor. What is clear is that people's aspirations to improve their own lives, and above all
those of their children, are shared across frontiers and cultures.

Hearing and transmitting these stories has been a privilege and an inspiration for all those involved in this book. We hope that you will find it equally moving and inspiring to read them, and that you will conclude that the ESF really is 'Making a Difference in Life'.

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