The war ends, the foreign soldiers depart, and some may well be leaving babies behind.
NOPOOR final conference in Brussels, 6-7 June 2017
Researchers from 15 countries present successes and failures of existing poverty alleviation programmes and discuss the multidimensional aspects of poverty. Presentations and debates bring insights to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the EU’s agenda of development cooperation policy.
European Social Sciences and Humanities are still world-wide scientific references. They occupy a position that is close to that of the USA in terms of articles produced. However, a strong core-periphery structure persists between different country groups. European funding programs for research, especially for collaborative research have high impact on international scientific collaboration within Europe and beyond, especially with regard to peripheral and semi-peripheral countries. The Interco-SSH FP7 collaborative research project published its policy recommendations on how to improve international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.
On April 26, the Commission presented the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). The EPSR sets out a number of key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The initiative is designed as a compass for a process of convergence towards better working and living conditions among participating Member States. It is primarily conceived for the euro area but open to all EU Member States. The 20 principles and rights enshrined in the Pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions and social protection and inclusion. They place the focus on how to deliver on the promise in the Treaties of a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress.
Implementing the principles and rights of the EPSR will require various legislative and non-legislative initiatives. As a first step, the Communication presenting the EPSR was accompanied by initiatives related to work-life balance, information for workers, access to social protection and working time. A social scoreboard was also established to track trends and performances across EU countries in 12 areas and to assess progress towards a social "triple A" for the EU as a whole. This analysis will feed into the European Semester of economic policy coordination.
The European research community played a key role in the consultation process leading to the preparation of the EPSR. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation organised a one day seminar on 'Work, Welfare and Inequalities in Europe – The Research Perspective' (10 October 2016 in Brussels) to present scientific evidence in the fields of welfare policies, labour markets and employment, social investment and poverty. At the same time, the evidence base generated by projects funded under the EC's Framework Programmes informs the recent policy and implementation monitoring initiatives.
The EU funded research project MIME answers the Commission's request for analysis and practical orientations regarding the handling of individual and societal multilingualism in a time of change. The project is in particular focused on the public policy aspects of multilingualism, and provides useful conceptual tools, helping decision makers to weigh the pros and cons of various strategies for handling the multilingual challenge.
The Great Start in Life conference brought researchers, policymakers, early childhood education and care and primary school staff together to discuss how to create the conditions for the best possible education in the early years. The final report of the conference summarises the presentations and discussions from the two-day event.
DG Research and Innovation 'Open and Inclusive Societies' organised the one day seminar 'Work, Welfare and Inequalities in Europe – The Research Perspective' (October 10, 2016 Brussels) to present scientific evidence in relation to the present and future of welfare systems, labour markets and the content of work, reversing inequalities, social investment and poverty etc. The seminar brought leading researchers in the fields of social and employment policies together with EU policy makers, international experts and other relevant stakeholders.
Findings were discussed from a policy perspective and contributed to the public dialogue concerning the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) launched by the European Commission in March 2016. During the seminar a Policy Review entitled "Fighting poverty and exclusion through social investment: A European research perspective" was also presented. The Review presents evidence from twenty 7th Framework Programme research projects on issues pertaining to poverty and exclusion; social investment and protection; new risks and vulnerabilities of different social groups; tax and benefit policies for promoting inclusion and overall policy learning concerning what works, where and why. This report presents the main findings and discussions.