Europeanisation (WP4)

The Europeanisation of Active Inclusion Policies

In WP 4 COPE analyses the Europeanisation of policy conceptualisation and delivery processes in the multilevel governance of minimum income schemes, with particular reference to lone mothers, long-term unemployed and working poor.

As outlined in section 1.2.3, the European framework for achieving targets in the fields of employment and social policies has been significantly overhauled in recent years. While in the period 2000-2009 the EU developed an innovative approach for coordinating Member States’ policies – mainly through the OMC, the EES and the European Social Fund (ESF) – within the broader Lisbon Strategy, since 2009 the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and the formulation of the “Europe2020” strategy have updated as well as significantly re-designed both the governance framework and substantive objectives for social inclusion policies in the European multilevel architecture. The first aim of the research is therefore to analyse the new EU policy tool-kit in the field as well as its differences compared with the pre-“Europe2020” setting.

Secondly, we will focus on the mechanisms by which EU social and employment policy tools, mutual learning processes and resources promote a multilevel governance of minimum income programmes for the poor. This primarily implies a careful reconstruction of the new supranational policy and institutional arrangement, emerging from the interaction between the new EU strategic objectives and governance edifice – especially the EPAP, which should provide effective support to policy coordination and mutual learning – and pre-existing programmes – namely, the OMC.

Third, we will analyse how European programmes and processes contribute to programmatic and organisational reforms of active inclusion policy at the national and local level, particularly focusing on the usages of European resources by political actors and major stakeholders.

The final step consists of a comparison between the two periods, i.e. before and after Europe2020, in order to single out the most significant changes in the multilevel governance of minimum income schemes.