The ESF Transnational Thematic Network on Partnership met on 21st and 22nd February 2019 in Brussels. In its 11th meeting the network expanded its scope of participants by inviting a wider selection of ESF MAs and interested stakeholders from the EU. Following up on discussions and recommendations for a revised European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP), participants learned about how partnership initiatives between social partners, civil society and state representatives - in particular ESF Managing Authorities - are being practiced and how they might be strengthened.
On the first day, Robert Plummer from Business Europe presented research on the use of the ESF for the capacity building of social partners. Andy Churchill from Network for Europe (UK) gave an overview of the key features presented in the Civil Society Futures Inquiry which addresses current issues that civil society in the UK is facing in the context of global social, economical and political challenges. During the afternoon, the Partnership Learning Loop (Netherlands) led an interactive session on participatory evaluation of the quality of partnership processes.
On the second day the focus of the meeting was on sharing successful place-based partnership practices. Michelle McDonagh from Pobal provided an overview of Ireland’s approach to local community development which was followed by a presentation from Finbarr Filan on how this strategy works in the County of Sligo. Sophie Hermant then presented the methodology adopted by the project ‘No Long-Term Unemployment in Local Communities’ which centres on building partnerships between different actors of society to support the long-term unemployed in 10 different regions in France.
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