On the one hand, Member States face many similar economic, social and employment challenges in the context of a globalised economy. On the other hand, the diversity of policy experiences in EU28 has made the need for Member States to learn from each other about the most effective policy responses to the challenges as well as the best-suited approaches to diverse national contexts. Such processes can potentially contribute to improvements in capacity building, to the better enforcement of EU and national policies overall, and it can also result in better performing and more inclusive labour market and social protection systems across the EU. The project thus will also help to deliver the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and Social OMC.
EU policy making in the area of employment and social affairs primarily takes place through intergovernmental coordination, which is based on mutual learning among Member States to foster greater policy convergence towards agreed EU policy objectives. Mutual learning is thus a key component of the European Semester and the Social OMC; it is therefore crucial to the success of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The mutual learning process should provide participants with a platform that enables debates and critical thinking to arise beyond the aspect of information presentation thanks to the use of innovative methods to enhance learning.
Mutual learning involves the exchange of experience and good practice around the full spectrum of the policy cycle, from planning and design to implementation and monitoring. This is achieved by establishing two broad levels of exchange:
The project has developed a methodology for designing and organising events such as peer reviews, mutual learning workshops and mutual learning conferences to ensure that information provided – and the chances for mutual learning and dissemination created – supports the event participants (and the organisations they represent) in shaping their current and future approaches in the fields of employment, social affairs and inclusion. In addition, scientific analytical support is provided in the form of compilations of existing information, drafting of thematic papers and in-depth analysis on topics identified by the European Commission when assessing stakeholders’ needs towards the mutual learning services.
Mutual learning can be facilitated through different types of activities such as peer reviews, peer learning, policy learning conferences and events, working groups, expert groups, etc. Various formats such as peer reviews, mutual learning seminars and Conferences will be used throughout the duration of the Framework Contract. The European Centre participactively contributed to the following mutual learning events: