Policies and policy instruments which can help promote social protection and social inclusion can relate to education, employment policies, reducing discrimination across the board, improving housing or infrastructure, working conditions, social security arrangements, or entrepreneurship policies. Developing policies which promote equal opportunities for Europeans and which discourage discrimination for whatever reason are vital to this overall goal.
Policies promoting training, education and access to employment can all have an important effect in getting someone involved in society and socially included. Active education and training programmes made available through employment policies can help young people entering the market, migrants, people with disabilities, and older people to gain the adequate support and training, not to mention help working people maintain their skills and expertise throughout their careers.
Legislative arrangements and the social security system in a country can affect to what degree a person is protected from unexpected shocks in their employment or health situations. Social security systems can also, through smart and efficient arrangements help more socially vulnerable groups be more socially included. Looking at entrepreneurship and social inclusion, social entrepreneurship (for instance, hiring people who have difficulty participating in society) and inclusive entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship by people with diverse disabilities and/or economic and social disadvantages) can both help people become more involved in and contribute to society. Promoting entrepreneurship constitutes an important part of the Lisbon agenda and the Europe 2020 strategy which treats entrepreneurship as a key component of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
All in all, the area of social protection and social inclusion encompasses many policy areas and forms an important part of the EU’s priorities for 2020. Important and influential instruments which the Commission has at its disposal include the ESF and the open method of coordination. To help in the development of policies which address this Horizon 2020 goal, Panteia has conducted many studies across an array of relevant policy areas. Panteia therefore has a rich history in this area, both national and international in nature.