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What do I need to know about the Social Investment Package (SIP) that was approved by the European Commission in February?

31/03/2013

The SIP is a policy framework linked to the EU 2020 Strategy which describes current and future social challenges of the EU within the social field. The Commission calls on the Member States to prioritise social investment and the modernisation of their social welfare systems.

The SIP is a policy framework linked to the Europa 2020 Strategy which describes current and future social challenges of the EU within the social sphere. The Commission calls on the Member States to prioritise social investment and the modernisation of their social welfare systems.

What does the SIP propose to the Member States?

  • To ensure that the social protection systems meet the needs of people at critical times in their lives.
  • Improve implementation of active inclusion strategies.
  • Simplify and improve social policies aimed at providing sustainable and adequate social protection systems.
  • The more efficient and effective use of social budgets.

In line with the reforms to be undertaken in the welfare systems of the European Union, the SIP addresses a number of cross-cutting issues to be taken into account when designing and implementing social policies to ensure that they adapt to the new challenges. Among them are:

  • Simplification of services (one-stop shop)
  • Administrative reforms
  • Results orientation
  • Innovation
  • Early intervention and prevention

Structural Funds in the next programming period 2014-2020, especially the European Social Fund, will contribute to this new political framework.

The contents of the SIP

  • Communication " Towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion – including implementing the European Social Fund 2014-2020"
  • One recommendation "Investing in Children – breaking the cycle of disadvantage”
  • 8 working documents:
    • Evidence on Demographic and Social Trends – Social Policies' Contribution to Inclusion, Employment and the Economy (part 1 and 2)
    • Follow-up on the implementation by the Member States of the 2008 European Commission recommendation on active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market -– Towards a social investment approach
    • Third Biennial Report on Social Services of General Interest
    • Long-term care in ageing societies – Challenges and policy options
    • Confronting Homelessness in the European Union
    • Investing in Health
    • Social investment through the ESF

How does this policy framework influence the programming the European Social Fund 2014-2020?

The SIP establishes a number of investment priorities for the 4 thematic objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy:

Employment, occupation and geographical labour mobility

  1. Access to employment and labour mobility
  2. Sustainable integration in the labour market of young people without education, work or training
  3. Self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation
  4. Gender equality and reconciliation
  5. Adaptation of workers and companies to change
  6. Active and Healthy Ageing
  7. Modernization of quality labour institutions

Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

  1. Active inclusion
  2. Integration of Roma and other vulnerable groups
  3. Combating discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation
  4. Quality health care and social services of general interest
  5. Promoting the social economy and social enterprises
  6. Strategies for community-led local development initiatives

Education, strategies and qualification

  1. Combating early school leaving
  2. Improving the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of education at all levels
  3. Improving access to lifelong learning

Institutional capacity and efficiency of public administration

  1. Training of stakeholders to develop actions for employment, education and social policies

The National Reform Programme 2013 of Spain approved last April has set among its priorities the following social investments:

In the thematic objective of employment:

  • Access to employment for job seekers and inactive people, including local employment initiatives and supporting labour mobility.
  • The adaptability of workers, comapnies and entrepreneurs to change

In the thematic objective of social inclusion:

  • The fight against discrimination on grounds of sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

In the thematic objective of education:

  • The fight against early school leaving and promoting equal access to nursery, primary and secondary education of good quality.
  • Improving access to lifelong learning of professional skills and the adjustment of education and training systems to the labour market.

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