Peer reviews and other mutual learning processes in the fields of employment, social affairs and inclusion


Anette Scoppetta


Stefania Ilinca, Magdi Birtha, Leonard Geyer, Veronica Sandu, Rahel Kahlert, Michael Fuchs, Orsolya Lelkes, Ricardo Rodrigues, Eszter Zólyomi, Katarina Hollan, Kai Leichsenring, Gudrun Bauer, Sonila Danaj


Mattias Wihlborg, ICF (United Kingdom)


ICF International (Belgium & United Kingdom)

Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale (Italy)

RadarEurope (The Netherlands)


On the one hand, Member States had faced 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 had made the need visible 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 aimed also to help 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 implemented provided participants with a platform that enabled 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 was achieved by establishing two broad levels of exchange:

  • At the overall policy level, addressing the key conditions and requirements for policy change
  • At the more practical and detailed level, addressing the opportunities and constraints for policy implementation taking into account national or regional differences

The project had 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 – supported the event participants (and the organisations they represent) in shaping their approaches in the fields of employment, social affairs and inclusion. In addition, scientific analytical support was 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 was 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 were used throughout the duration of the Framework Contract. The European Centre actively contributed to the following mutual learning events:

Peer reviews

Mutual Learning Events

Scientific Analytical Support

  • Country reviews: Performance of EU candidate countries regarding European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research supports the Sustainable Development Goals

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UN SDG Decent Work and Economic Growth
UN SDG Reduced Inequalities
UN SDG Partnerships for the Goals