The Idea of the Project
Reducing poverty and social exclusion is one of the main challenges for ensuring social cohesion of modern Europe. Lone mothers, long-term unemployed and working poor face serious obstacles in acceding high-quality jobs. That requires social assistance providing minimum income as a last resort as well as active inclusion policies to protect from poverty and social exclusion. The institutional, organisational and individual dimensions of the national minimum income schemes deserve particular attention. The core of COPE’s analysis is to picture poverty and social exclusion in Europe, to examine the complex governance structure of European, national and local policies of minimum income schemes and to assess their impact on the beneficiaries.
Co-financed by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme, the COPE project unites experienced researchers and stakeholders from six European countries. Since February 2012 research teams from Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Norway have been working on this three-year project.
The six research teams of COPE cooperate closely to collect, analyse and compare quantitative as well as qualitative data on poverty and the institutional organisation of the combat against poverty and social exclusion. While accomplishing six material work packages in the progress of COPE, the project targets a high-quality dissemination of results. European conferences and workshops, international scientific publications and policy briefs as well as continuous fora with European, national and local actors of active inclusion policies accompany the three-year lifecycle of the project.
Course of Action
In the first part of COPE, the research team examines how poverty and social exclusion can be contextualized theoretically and statistically. Carrying on to the main part of the project, COPE analyses the Europeanisation, the national organisation and the local implementation of minimum income schemes and active inclusion policies. Finally, the impact of these policies and interventions on the individually perceived situation of most vulnerable groups and their life courses are studied by the European research collaboration.