What is Social Inclusion?

“Social Inclusion” is one of the investment areas targeted by European funding in Ireland. The goal of this investment is to help people or communities with difficulties participating in society. Two funds support this investment area: the European Social Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Through the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning, the European Social Fund helps disadvantaged people, who may struggle to participate in society, and those who may find it difficult to prosper in education, get a job, or to connect with their community. The Programme also includes measures to promote equal opportunities and combat discrimination.

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development has a dedicated programme, the LEADER Programme, that empowers local community groups to encourage sustainable growth in their local areas.

Funding for Social Inclusion: 387.6 million euro from the Programme for Employability and 250 million euro from the Rural Development Programme.

Examples of Social Inclusion Projects

LEADER Programme

LEADER Programme

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

LEADER will give €250m in funding to local community groups between 2014 and 2020, funded under the Rural Development Programme.

The focus of this programme is to empower local communities to select projects that have an impact on their area.

Learn more about LEADER.


Garda Youth Diversion Projects: West Limerick

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

European Social Fund

This initiative helps young people that are at risk of, or involved in, anti-social or criminal behaviour. It focusses on community-centred projects helping these young people connect with their local areas, enabling them to make positive choices and stop offending.

Read Patrick and Jamie’s story for more about the kind of projects these young people get involved in.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects: West Limerick

Young Persons Probation: Photo of Dochas don Oige

Young Persons Probation Projects

European Social Fund

Young Persons Probation (YPP) projects provide a range of services to young offenders in local communities, including training and education, mentoring, and offender management programmes. Four YPP projects are supported under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning:

What do Young Persons Probation Participants say?
Testimonials from Dochas don Oige Participants

Which Funds invest in Social Inclusion and Combating Discrimination?

Each of the Funds below invests in Social Inclusion and Combating Discrimination. Click on these tiles to explore the other investments made by each Fund.