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Europe 2020

Towards a More Social EU?

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Edited By Eric Marlier, David Natali and Rudi Van Dam

How can Europe 2020, the EU’s new Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, lead to a stronger Social EU with less poverty and greater social cohesion? This book by a number of eminent scholars and experts is the first to attempt to answer this question.
The adoption in June 2010 by EU leaders of a target to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion by 2020 is an important step forward. However, delivering on this and the Union’s four other mutually reinforcing targets, and achieving the EU’s ambitious social objectives, raises many political and technical challenges. These are examined in depth in this book.
A key objective of the book is to take a critical look at and draw lessons from the past, 2000–2010 Lisbon Strategy. Another important objective is to explore the format and role of EU coordination and cooperation in the social field in the new EU governance framework, in a context marked by slow recovery after the global economic crisis. Finally, the book also makes proposals for the further reinforcement of this coordination and cooperation and for the improvement of the different instruments available at EU, national and sub-national levels.
The analysis and concrete proposals presented in the book will be invaluable to policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders interested in contributing to building a more Social EU. They will help to encourage new ideas and innovative approaches.

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8. Social Impact Assessment as a Tool for MainstreamingSocial Protection and Inclusion Concerns in Public Policy (Martin KÜHNEMUND) 181

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181 8. Social Impact Assessment as a Tool for Mainstreaming Social Protection and Inclusion Concerns in Public Policy Martin KÜHNEMUND1 8.1 Introduction This chapter summarises the main results of a study commissioned by the European Commission (Directorate-General “Employment, Social affairs, Equal opportunities” (DG EMPL))2 to support mutual learning on social impact assessment within the Open Method of Coor- dination on Social Protection and Social Inclusion (Social OMC). The overall objective was to describe, compare and analyse the different ways in which social impact assessment is currently carried out in the European Union (EU) Member States, and to identify recommendations for the implementation of effective social impact assessment systems and for effective social impact analysis. Social impact assessment (IA) is linked with the principle of “good governance”, which is firmly integrated in the common objectives of the Social OMC that were agreed by all EU Member States. On this basis, a consensus has developed over the years around the idea that if they are to be effective, social protection and social inclusion policies need to be integrated (i.e. there is a need for a strategic approach and for main- streaming social inclusion and social protection objectives into other policy areas; integration with growth and jobs policies and with sustain- able development policies is particularly important). They also need to be based on facts (evidence-based policies, policy evaluation) and to involve stakeholders (transparency and stakeholder involvement in the design, implementation and monitoring of policies). 1 I would like to thank...

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