Illustration of a group of teachers and children holding hands and walking together. E.U. Structural Funding in Ireland. National Development Plan website [logo]. European Union website [logo].
N.D.P. / C.S.F. Operational Programmes
Cohesion Fund
Community Initiatives
Ireland's N.U.T.S II & III Regions
N.D.P. / C.S.F. Evaluation Process
Case Studies of Programmes / Projects
Press Releases & Publications


The aim of EQUAL is to fight discrimination and inequality in the labour market. Assistance is channelled through "Development Partnerships", which can be either geographic (i.e. based on a local authority area comprising public bodies, private companies and employers, trade unions, training centers or universities, N.G.O.s, etc.) or sectoral, where partnerships operate within specific sectors.

A large degree of flexibility is left for the Member States to decide on priorities for their own programmes. However, a number of "themes" have seen suggested, based on the European Commission's European Employment Guidelines:

  • Improving employability - facilitating entry into the labour market.
  • Entrepreneurship - facilitating the business and enterprise spirit.
  • Adaptability - creating an adaptable workforce with relevant skills.
  • Equal Opportunities - reconciling work and family life.

The Initiative comprises three Strands:
Strand A
Tackling discrimination and inequalities linked to the labour market. Projects run under this strand must reflect the priorities agreed by the Commission and Member States under the European Employment Strategy. These are carried out by public and private partners and associations through transnational co-operation.

Strand B
Networking projects at national level to enable information exchanges and the dissemination of best practice.

Strand C
Joint work by the Commission and Member States to learn the lessons of good practice and take into account in policy development the priorities to be implemented through the EQUAL initiative.

EQUAL will invest €47 million in Ireland in the period 2000-2006. The European Social Fund (E.S.F.) contribution will be €33.9million. This investment aims to improve access to employment and training opportunities for people who are unemployed or employed but low skilled and therefore vulnerable to unemployment.

For further Information please visit the EQUAL website:

EQUAL Community Initiative is funded by the European Social Fund.

Image of a pdf document. Download EQUAL Community Initiative Programme 2000-2006 pdf (720KB)

For further information please contact:
Managing Authority, EQUAL,
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment,
Davitt House,
65a Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2.

Tel: +353 (0)1 631 2121
Fax: +353 (0)1 888 2888
Lo-Call: 1890 20 20 21

Photograph of people at a market.
Farmers' Market, Castlebellingham.
Visit the Adobe website to download Acrobat Reader for free.
Illustration of a person at a computer. Print this page
^ Top of page

You are here: Home > Community Initiatives > EQUAL