Mission and Activities


COP Mission

The “COP on Partnership in the ESF” was set up as mutual learning network under the ESF 2007-2013. The transnational cooperation ensures knowledge exchange of ESF-Managing Authorities (MAs) as well as other stakeholders, in particular, other programme managing
authorities, such as e.g. MAs of the ERDF. The COP focuses on partnerships being adopted by national and regional Operational Programmes (OPs) of Member states (MS). Click here to get a short summary of COP's benefits and added value.

The COP aims at learning from experiences and sharing knowledge on partnerships. Partnerships are recognised as valuable and essential policy instrument and practice with which policy outcomes of OPs, policies and actions can be enhanced. By building shared understanding and through learning from partnership practices COP members aim for improving policy planning and delivery as well as contributing to employment policy and delivering reforms. Thus, the COP network is a “governance network”.

The mission of the “Community of Practice on Partnerships in the ESF”, as defined by its members, is to stimulate more creative partnership thinking and implementation in the structural funds, especially in the ESF. By providing high quality support to partnerships in the structural fund context the COP contributes to better performance of the EU with impact on employment and social inclusion (enhancing the employment situation, supporting social inclusion of (ESF) target groups and strengthening the economic development of the regions). Hence, all activities taken by the mutual learning network will support partnerships.

The overall COP objective is to contribute to enhanced policy outcomes. Through learning from experiences of its members the COP aims for developing improved policy frameworks for the promotion of partnerships. By providing high quality support to partnerships in the structural fund context the COP aims to contribute to better performance of the EU with impact on employment and social inclusion as well as contributing to delivering reforms.

By signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the members of the COP, expressed their willingness and readiness to exchange and share knowledge on partnerships: Partnership practices being adopted by ESF-OPs as well as by other programmes are explored by the COP, their effects on policies examined and opportunities for improving policy planning and delivery debated. By cooperating as partners the COP, furthermore, aims for discussing mechanisms and efforts taken to adapt to changes in governance systems. The COP members declared their preparedness to integrate the lessons learnt generated by the COP in OPs, policies and actions.

The COP builds on an extensive cooperation between ESF-MAs dating back to 2003, when first common steps were taken as European Thematic Group on Partnerships. Followed by the period 2006-2008, collaborative milestones were achieved, one of which was the development of the "Key success factors" presented at the ESF-Exchange event in Malta in January 2008.

The Community of Practice is guided by a steering group with representatives from the ESF Managing Authorities from the initiating countries as well as the European Commission (click here for more).

Membership of the Community is open, in the first place, to representatives of Managing Authorities or Intermediate Bodies of ESF Operational Programmes. However, experts, project managers, partnership coordinators, programme managers from other European funds, etc. who possess the necessary expertise and are committed to supporting partnerships can also be invited.

If you are interested, you can apply for membership by registering on this website of the CoP. This site is more than a mere repository of documents or collection of web pages. It also facilitates discussion and exchanges of ideas by offering an individual blog for each member, a discussion forum to debate hot topics, web books (wiki) to collaboratively write documents, etc. Check "how to use this site" for more information.

Alternatively, just use the contact form to find out more.

Click on COP Activities below.

Back to top