ACTIVITIES > Employment and Social Inclusion
Since 2006, the CPMR has invested in further developing the territorial approach of the policy area of employment, training and social inclusion with the creation of a working group involving a dozen member regions to further develop their discussions on subjects such as education, lifelong learning, policies targeting the job market, the governance of employment and training policies and social inclusion, especially that of immigrants.
These policy areas, already part of the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda and the European Social Agenda, are at the heart of the objectives of the EU2020 Strategy in particular with regard to knowledge, employment and social inclusion. Despite the development of the last decade, differences need to be reduced in terms of the employment rate, lifelong learning, the quality of education and training systems and the reduction of early school leavers, fighting against exclusion and tackling poverty.
The regions are on the front line of these combats. They are confronted with problems directly experienced by their respective communities. They are also in the front line in using resources and finding responses to address the complexity of these problems, as was recently demonstrated in the fight against the exceptional circumstances resulting from the international crisis.
The ESF plays an important role in this context. It is responsible for the funding of policies and programmes which support the development of the employment market and social inclusion. Further to the conclusions of a survey carried out within the working group, the added value of the ESF is very important in the development of education and training systems in convergence regions. The role of the ESF is recognised in supporting various disadvantaged populations in competitiveness regions and in the support to some innovative projects in particular in the area of youth mobility and their insertion in the employment market.
The regions involved in the working group believe that the regional level is not sufficiently involved in the design of ESF operational programmes. The regions call for a more active participation in parallel with the States and the EC. The revision period for EU policies after 2013 is an opportunity to involve the regions in supporting the ESF as a key instrument of regional policy covering the whole of the EU and in reinforcing a more active participation of the regions in the design and implementation of the programmes. The working group tries to emphasise their arguments to EU institutions, particularly the European Commission, European Parliament and national bodies.
Meetings, seminars, workshops and site visits for direct contact with the projects and stakeholders concerned are regularly organized within the working group and they are occasions for positive brainstorming and inspiration for one anotherís work.