The operational programme of the ESF defines thematic goals on the basis of three priority axes:

  1. the promotion of sustainable and high-quality employment and the support of workers’ mobility;
  2. the promotion of social inclusion and combating poverty and all kinds of discrimination;
  3. investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning.

So-called investment priorities are assigned to every goal and define the main focuses of the activities, and thus also the use of funding. In contrast to the funding period 2007-2013, for the first time Burgenland has been integrated into OP 2014+ as a separate priority axis (4). Burgenland is the only province in Austria which has the status of a transitional region and sets regional priorities.

You can read about the investment priorities for Austria here including all the information on goals, measures and implementing bodies:


Equality of women and men 

Active and healthy ageing

Active inclusion 

Reduction of early school leaving

Access to lifelong learning

Employment for jobseekers

Adaptation to change

Technical assistance


Horizontal principles

are themes which are taken into account in all promotional measures of the ESF.

These include:

Active social inclusion and freedom from barriers are the guiding principles of the Austrian ESF programme.  The ESF therefore carries out suitable measures which ensure equal access to the physical environment, to means of transport, information and communication, including information and communications technologies, as well as to other facilities, products and services.

Equality between women and men in the sense of gender mainstreaming is also a consistently present guiding principle in the Austrian ESF programme. For the subsidised measures, this means that there may be no disadvantages due to a person’s gender.

In the case of tenders and the award of public contracts, it is also examined to what extent the application of green criteria and the horizontal issue of sustainable development are relevant, and this is taken into consideration in the requirements for awards.