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With its objective of inclusive as well as smart and sustainable growth, and with its (first ever) EU poverty and social exclusion target, the Europe 2020 Strategy (potentially) increases the importance of the EU's social objectives and integrates them with the EU's economic, employment and environmental objectives.
The National Reform Programmes (NRPs) are the means by which countries are expected to translate the Europe 2020 objectives and targets into national policies. 2012 is the second year Member States have had to submit their Europe 2020 NRPs to the European Commission.
The National Social Reports (NSRs) are a new development introduced in 2012. The EU Council of Ministers decided to underpin the social dimension of the Europe 2020 process with a “reinvigorated Social Open Method of Coordination” supported by NSRs covering the fields of social inclusion, pensions and healthcare and long-term care.
Members of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion assessed, from a social inclusion perspective, their countries’ NRPs and -when available- NSRs. In particular, they assessed the extent to which the measures outlined in the NRPs (and NSRs) are likely to ensure progress towards the achievement of the Europe 2020’s social inclusion objectives and target.
This short report, prepared by the Network Core Team, summarises the main findings of the independent experts’ country analyses. It also puts forward concrete suggestions for strengthening the social inclusion dimension of the NRP process in future.