The Social Protection and Social Inclusion Process

Keywords: Social Inclusion, Health Care

The Social Protection and Social Inclusion Process (formerly "Social Inclusion Strategy") constituted the EU framework of PICUM’s project on access to Health Care for Undocumented Migrants. The project was co-funded by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

An important part in this process is devoted to combat social exclusion and poverty. The Lisbon Summit in 2000 contributed to the reinforcement of the social inclusion strategy and thus the European Social Model, with its aim to make a decisive impact on eradicating poverty by 2010.

The Framework of the open coordination of social protection and inclusion policies in the European Union

The 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam marked an important step forward in European social protection and inclusion policies, since it consolidated the mechanisms set in place by the Treaty of Maastricht and promoted a series of social policy priorities at Community level, especially in the area of employment. Article 136 confirms that social policy is the joint responsibility of the European Community and its member states. The objectives of the European social policy are the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, proper social protection, dialogue between management and labour, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion.

From 2006, after the re-launching of the Lisbon Strategy in 2005, three policy areas provided the framework of this strategy:

The Open Method of Coordination (OMC)

The coordination of member states’ actions in this field is based on common objectives and indicators and developed through the so-called 'Open Method of Coordination'. The OMC is generally used in areas where the European Union does not have the power to make legislation. Even if the competence remains national, member states have agreed to voluntarily coordinate their actions and policies on social protection – mainly health and pensions - and social inclusion with the purpose of getting greater policy convergence. This process is to a great extent based on policy exchange and mutual learning.

Certainly, this method is an innovative multi-level and multi-stakeholders system of policy coordination in the EU. Apart from the EU institutions and the member states, it is foreseen that a variety of actors participate in the process, i.e. local and regional authorities, trade unions, social partners and non-governmental organisations, as well as people experiencing poverty first-hand, as the main representatives of civil society.

The European Commission plays an important role by encouraging cooperation amongst member states, promoting exchange of information and best practice and increasing capacity of local actors to address social exclusion. These tasks are being carried out within the framework of the Community Programme for Employment and Solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013).

Member states are responsible for formulating and implementing the European social protection and social inclusion process at national level through the analysis of the different sectors and the definition of objectives and strategies. States do this in the so-called National Action Plans for Social Inclusion, Health and Pensions, respectively.

Click here for more information on the Open Method of Coordination.

Reporting Templates

This template is intended as a model of a submission to the National Action Plan on Social Inclusion being drafted in each EU member state. It is as a key action of PICUM’s Project: Access to Heath Care of Undocumented Migrants.

PICUM's Reporting Templates: EN FR NL DE ES PT IT HU SWE

Contact us to obtain a Word format of the template for completion.

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