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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure SE-2022-23/2825 Updated – measures in Sweden

European Social Fund to help Ukrainian refugees find employment

Ändring i socialfondsprogrammet för att få fler ukrainare i arbete

Country Sweden , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 02 June 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Anna-Karin Gustafsson (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 09 September 2022 (updated 12 June 2023)

Background information

Since the EU-mechanism for temporary protection under the Directive on Temporary Protection 2001/55/EC was activated, Ukrainian refugees have the right to work during their stay in an EU-country.

The Swedish government and authorities have taken a series of measures to help Ukrainian refugees find work. Among them are language training, vocational education, and an introduction to Swedish society and culture. Via the EU-initiative Care, member countries can redistribute resources from several EU-funds, such as the European Social Fund (ESF), to aid for refugees. This allows the governement to fund initiatives to help the Ukrainian refugees, such as building shelters, securing sanitation, and implementing labour market measures.

Content of measure

The Swedish government will redistribute SEK 885 million (€83 million) of ESF-funds to help Ukrainian refugees find work. The funds are the remains of the national 2014-2020 ESF-programme. The redistribution of the funds has to be be approved by the European Commission. Local and regional agencies, enterprises, and civic organisations will be able to apply for funding from the national ESF-council under this measure. They are expected to use these funds for job matching, language training or vocational education. The council will particularly consider projects related to industrial development in northern Sweden. Eligible projects must be on the national or regional level. It is expected that this measure will result in an increased number of Ukrainians able to enter into the Swedish labour market.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

17 May 2023

The government has proposed a further allocation of SEK 329 million (€28.2 million) to help Ukrainian refugees find employment. The redirection of funding is done within the ESF+ program period of 2021-2027. The funding can be used until June 2024. The proposal has to be approved by the European Commission.

Use of measure

Municipalities, civil society organisations and authorities have been able to apply for funds since 1 June 2023. In May 2023 the ESF-council reported that a total of SEK 621 million (€53.3 million) have been granted to 87 projects, mainly run by municipalities and civic organisations.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The measure is outside social partner main domain.

Views and reactions

The measure is outside social partner main domain.


  • 02 June 2022: More Ukrainians to get into work (Fler ukrainare ska kunna komma i arbete) (
  • 19 May 2023: ESF-council (2023), "329 million in support of Ukrainian citizens" (329 miljoner i stöd till ukrainska medborgare) (


Eurofound (2022), European Social Fund to help Ukrainian refugees find employment, measure SE-2022-23/2825 (measures in Sweden), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.