10th Partnership TN meeting, 27-28 September 2018, Bruges, Belgium

10th Partnership TN meeting, 27-28 September 2018, Bruges, Belgium


The 10th meeting of the ESF Transnational Thematic Network on Partnership took place in Bruges, Belgium from 27-28 September 2018. Organised by ESF Flanders, the meeting looked specifically at the involvement of social partners (employers and trade unions) in the ESF and at some of their partnership arrangements with public authorities.

The meeting began with a presentation from representatives of the Social Economic Council in Belgium-Flanders (SERV) on the social dialogue structure in Flanders and how partnership is represented in ESF-funded projects. Partnership-based projects on digitalisation and social innovation were highlighted.

Participants at the meeting also had the opportunity to hear about social responsibility initiatives managed in partnership from two enterprises in Flanders – the vocational training centre ‘Group Syntra West’ and ‘Volvocars’. Another initiative, ‘Business Parks’, was presented as an example of a partnership between companies concentrated in one location that are engaged in a variety of local collaborative arrangements. A representative from one of the main trade unions in Flanders (ACV) also provided an example of an ESF-funded project that has promoted transnational coordination between social services and trade unions to ensure the rights of mobile workers.

The meeting included a session on ‘appreciative inquiry’ and its use as a methodology for supporting inclusive and future-oriented models of working based on collaboration and positive values. Participants were also given follow-up training on building resilience and finding strategies for facing interpersonal and professional difficulties though support from the network.

At the end of the meeting, participants agreed upon the following work plan for the next 9 months:

  • Croatia will take over the chair of the network for six months from January 2019
  • After the first peer-review in Poznan, Poland, two more peer-reviews will follow. The network is currently liaising with members interested in arranging peer-reviews of their national/local partnership practices.
  • An analysis of the understanding and use of ‘partnership’ in other EU funds will be undertaken with a view to developing an integrated vision of the term. Members will be asked to contribute to this through individual research on different funds.
  • Members will contribute to updating the 2008 guide for ESF MAs and IBs on how to implement partnership with a revised text and new examples.
  • The Partnership TN is collaborating with the Employment TN and the Learning and Skills TN in the organisation of the Conference on the Future of Work that will take place in Brussels on 11 December 2018.
  • The Partnership TN has had an initial discussion with the Simplification TN on the possibility of developing a joint activity related to the latter’s work of improving partnership between Managing Authorities and Auditing Authorities.


Final agenda