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Innovative Social and Employment Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe

Final Report Summary - INSPIRES (Innovative Social and Employment Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe)

Executive Summary:

The 2008-2014 financial and economic crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of many European labour markets. The INPSIRES project uses the concept of resilience to explore the ability of European countries to absorb the labour market consequences of economic shocks. The project has tried to explain the impact of structural as well as dynamic factors on the resilience of labour markets as a whole and more specifically for four specific vulnerable groups in the labour market: youth, migrants, older workers and disabled workers. Structural factors are related to the structural condition of a country: its workforce, its economic structure, international competitiveness and so on. Dynamic factors are innovative policy measures.
It appears that the impact of policy-related dynamic factors is of little impact on the resilience of labour markets. Crisis-related policy innovations have been relatively scarce and there is little evidence for their impact. The innovations that have been taken implemented in the crisis period in many countries are the result of policy developments that have been initiated well before the crisis and – in many cases – are not aimed at improving the employment position on the short term. A measure like increasing the retirement age, which may be found in almost all INSPIRES countries, extends the workforce and therefore may increase rather than limit unemployment in a country.
Countries that have dealt relatively good with the consequences of the economic crisis have implemented structural measures to improve the functioning of the labour market in a broad range of areas: flexibility, activation, training and education and preventive rather than curative unemployment policies.
The INSPIRES project also has highlighted the differences between the initial positions of different vulnerable groups within countries and between countries as well as the diverging impact of the crisis on these groups. It appears that specific national conditions play a large role in explain these differences. For example: the country of origin of a migrant population group has a large impact on the labour market position of this group, for instance due to cultural and language differences. Policies aimed at specific target groups may have some impact, but this impact seems to be limited in comparison to more structural or institutional explanations.

The INSPIRES project aimed to contribute to the resilience and inclusiveness of labour markets in European countries by identifying innovative policies that contribute to resilience and inclusiveness and by analyzing strategies of policy learning that facilitate the development and transfer of these innovations within and across European countries. The project has analyzed in-depth the evolution of labour markets, employment and social policies and the qualitative and quantitative position of vulnerable groups on the labour market from 2000 onwards. It covered eleven countries from all European welfare traditions: the Mediterranean, the Eastern-European, the Anglo-Saxon, the Scandinavian and the continental regimes.

Project Context and Objectives:
Summary description of project context and objectives
The INSPIRES project aimed to contribute to the resilience and inclusiveness of labour markets in European countries by identifying innovative policies that contribute to resilience and inclusiveness and by analyzing strategies of policy learning that facilitate the development and transfer of these innovations within and across European countries. The project has analyzed in-depth the evolution of labour markets, employment and social policies and the qualitative and quantitative position of vulnerable groups on the labour market from 2000 onwards. Vulnerable groups have been defined as groups that experience a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion than the general population. INSPIRES specifically focused on the labour market position of young people (under 25), older workers (over 55), ethnic minorities and disabled people. It covered eleven countries from all European welfare traditions: the Mediterranean, the Eastern-European, the Anglo-Saxon, the Scandinavian and the continental regimes (cf. Esping Andersen 1990; Arts & Gelissen 2002).

Within the INSPIRES project, innovations have been conceptualised on three levels:
1. Policy innovations that are oriented at influencing the behaviour of the actors on the labour market, such as workers and employers.
2. Policy innovations that are directed at the interactions within formal and informal networks between the different actors on the labour market. This concerns mainly the governance of labour markets by the state, social partners (trade unions and employers associations), non-governmental organisations, service providers and those affected by poverty and social exclusion or their representatives.
3. Policy innovations directed at changing the institutional structure of labour markets, for example minimum-income regulation, labour-protection, employment protection, flexicurity, etcetera.

These three levels together from the ‘innovation triangle’ (figure 1), which has served as a guide to identify and categorize innovations throughout the project. This triangle distinguishes in the first place policies that are oriented at influencing the behaviour of the actors on the labour market, such as workers and employers. Secondly, it distinguishes policies that are directed at the interaction in formal and informal networks between the state, social partners (trade unions and employers associations), non-governmental organisations, service providers and those affected by poverty and social exclusion. This concerns mainly the governance of labour markets, employment policies and social policies at the national and sub-national levels. Thirdly, the innovation triangle distinguishes policies directed at changing the institutional structure of labour markets, more exactly in the field of labour contracts (deregulation, temp work, seniority wages), employment protection, working time (technical unemployment, kurzarbeit), social protection (activation, restriction of eligibility) and labour costs (reduction of social contributions or taxes) etcetera.

Figure 1: The innovation triangle

The general goal of identifying innovative policies that contribute to resilience and inclusiveness and by analyzing strategies of policy learning that facilitate the development and transfer of these innovations was translated into the following six more specific goals.
1. To contribute to the resilience of labour markets and the active inclusion of vulnerable groups on the labour markets by identifying conditions that facilitate processes of policy learning and innovation at the sub-national, national, cross-national and European level;
2. To identify, analyze and assess innovative policies that affect the behaviour of different parties on the labour market, including employers and employees and to evaluate and explain the impact of these innovations on the resilience of labour markets and the active inclusion of vulnerable groups;
3. To identify, analyze and assess innovative processes of interaction, participation and governance within formal and informal networks between the state, social partners (trade unions and employers associations), non-governmental organisations, service providers and those affected by poverty and social exclusion and evaluate their impact on the active inclusion of vulnerable groups and the resilience of labour markets;
4. To identify, analyze and assess innovations directed at institutional structure of labour markets and employment regulation (for example minimum-income regulation, labour protection, employment protection, flexicurity) and evaluate their impact on the active inclusion of vulnerable groups and the resilience of labour markets
5. To analyse how tools and data for policymaking in the area of employment and labour market are actually used in the policymaking process and during policy monitoring and implementation and to evaluate their impact on the innovation and policy learning capacities on the sub-national, national and European level;
6. To critically assess the EU’s role in policy learning and its relation to the implementation process of EU policies in the fields of labour market policies and employment policies.

The intended scientific contribution of the INSPIRES project has been manifold. In the first place through the way the INSPIRES project makes use of the theoretical notions of resilience and policy innovation and in the way it empirically applies these theoretical notions in a comparative analysis of labour market policies, employment policies and social policies in European countries and from a EU perspective. In doing so, the INSPIRES project intended to overcome the fragmented nature of this field and tried to go beyond the often rhetorical presentation of policy innovations by making an in-depth and detailed analysis of policy innovations, the implementation of these innovations and the impact of these innovations on the resilience and inclusiveness of labour markets in Europe. More specifically, INSPIRES’ scientific contribution may be characterized as follows:

1. INSPIRES has modelled and explained the resilience of national labour markets in relation to the 2008-2014 economic and financial crisis. This analysis went beyond the usual labour market analyses because it tried to explain different impacts for different vulnerable groups in different countries, and tried to identify both structural and policy-related factors contributing to resilience.
2. INSPIRES intended to explain the variance in resilience between countries in relation to innovative policies directed at the labour market, employment and social policies. By taking into account national contexts and performing in-depth analyses, it provided much sought-after knowledge on the ‘working ingredients’ of innovative policies.
3. INSPIRES explained the variance in the contents and levels of policy innovations in different countries by analysing and process-tracing processes of policy learning and policy transfer within and across European countries.
4. INSPIRES stretched the boundaries of the existing knowledge on the EU’s methods of disseminating policy ideas and innovations through a systematic analysis between different areas of labour market policies, employment policies and social policies and between nations.
5. INSPIRES provided systematic and comparative empirical fundaments for the further development of innovative policies aimed at the construction of resilient and inclusive labour markets, specifically for vulnerable groups.

In this project, different data sources and stakeholder perspectives have been used to contribute to the evidence on policies that strengthen inclusive and resilient labour markets in Europe and to evaluate the impact of national-level and European-level processes of policy learning on inclusive and resilient labour markets. This has been done through a three-step approach. The first step was aimed at assessing the state of labour market resilience in Europe on two levels. First, through identifying the structural factors and conditions that affect labour market resilience and identifying the level of labour market resilience in 27 European countries (Work Package 1 – WP1). Second, through providing an in-depth analysis and explanation of the impact of the economic crisis on the labour market position of vulnerable groups in 11 European countries (WP2).

The second step involved the identification of policy innovations aimed at strengthening labour market resilience and inclusion of vulnerable groups. We have done so by identifying all major policy innovations in the field of social policies, labour market policies and employment policies in 11 European countries and by evaluating their impact through reviews of existing evaluations and through interviews with stakeholders, experts and interest groups in the selected 11 countries (WP 3). From this analysis, we identified 5 innovations in each country that had significantly contributed to combating unemployment and promoting inclusion of vulnerable groups. For these innovations, we performed a detailed study on the roots, the adoption, the distribution and the impact of these innovations (WP 4).

The final step consisted of the analysis of the ‘policy learning infrastructure’ in the 11 participating countries based on an analysis of the formal institutions and processes (WP5). In this step, specific attention has been devoted to the role of the European Commission, and more specifically the European Employment Strategy and related policy documents in the diffusion and adoption of policy innovations (WP 6). WP 7 brought together all of the evidence that has been delivered to create a systematic and comprehensive explanation for the impact of policy learning on innovative policies to create resilient and inclusive labour markets in Europe. Figure 2 provides a graphical overview of this approach.

Figure 2: The approach of INSPIRES

Project Results:
IN this section, we summarize the results of each of the work packages of the INSPIRES project, as well as the wider activities aimed at creating impact and disseminating findings to the wider academic and policy communities. In this section, we provide a brief summary of each work package and present the main insights from this work package. Of course, this summary only presents a snapshot of the results of the INSPIRES project. For more in-depth details we would like to refer to the underlying deliverables and publications.

Work Package 1 - Define, operationalize and assess labour market resilience

Work Package 1 focused on conceptualizing labour market resilience, identifying available data on employment and labour market position of vulnerable groups in Europe, assessing and explaining labour market resilience and providing feedback to national and European stakeholders. WP1 was coordinated by Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Dr. Menno Fenger, Prof. dr. Romke Van der Veen).

WP1 has produced four deliverables. The first deliverable (D1.1.) “Review essay on labour market resilience”, provides a multi-disciplinary literature review on resilience in general and specifically on labour market resilience, as well as the conceptual framework and operationalisation of the concept of labour market resilience. It provides delivers an integrated framework that enables the comparative analysis of labour market resilience in distinct European settings and therefore serves as a basis for D1.2 and D1.3. The second deliverable (D1.2.) – the European labour market resilience (ELMaR) dataset - draws on a number of available data sources and covers key independent and dependent variables of labour market resilience. We have compiled a time-series cross-sectional (TSCS) dataset, comprising of the total of 147 variables, covering 30 European countries, and running from 1995 till 2012. The dataset comprise of both aggregated/country level and group level data. Consequently, the ELMaR dataset is appropriate for both cross national, multilevel and longitudinal analyses. The dataset has been made available through the INSPIRES website for other researchers as well. The third deliverable of WP1 (D1.3) - Benchmark report on labour market resilience, builds upon D1.1 and D1.2 and presents a cross-country analysis of the labour market resilience across 29 European countries. It focuses on two points in time - before (2007) and after/during the recession (2010).The final deliverable (D1.4.) - Interactive map of labour market resilience- illustrates the differences in labour market resilience across countries and vulnerable groups.

The most important deliverable has been the benchmark report on labour market resilience (D1.3). This report analyses and assesses the labour market resilience In 29 European countries. It uses objective data and the outcomes of regression analyses to assess national differences in the responses to the crisis both between and within countries for the different vulnerable groups that have been defined in INSPIRES. This enabled new insights into cross-country differences in labour market resilience of the total population and different vulnerable groups in Europe. The findings presented in this report suggest that the factors contributing to labour market resilience are multiple, change over time, and often vary across different vulnerable groups. Another finding is that youth and migrants have been the most vulnerable group across Europe in the aftermath of the recent crisis, both in terms of the highest increases in unemployment rates and the risk of poverty and social exclusion. Furthermore, the report suggests that in addition to the focus on factors affecting resilience, it also is important to shed light on temporal boundaries that frame the notion of resilience, as labour market resilience depends on different labour market dynamics over time. The results have been included in a European map which is also available through the INSPIRES website.

The results from WP 1 provide the opportunity for more detailed comparisons of differences between different vulnerable groups within countries and between countries. One example of the value of this approach may be found in the 2014 article by Fenger, Struyven and Van der Veen in Social Policy and Administration (which compares the Netherlands and Belgium) and in the 2014 Dutch article in Mens en Maatschappij by Fenger, Koster and Van der Veen which reflects on differences between vulnerable groups in the Netherlands. Moreover, Fenger held a webinar for the OECD on ‘Measuring labour market resilience’ which was based on this work package. Currently, Luc Benda at Erasmus University is finishing a Ph.D. using the ELMaR database using more advanced statistical techniques.

Work Package 2 - Analysis and explanation of impact of economic crisis on vulnerable groups

WP2 focused on analysing and explaining the impact of the current economic and financial crisis on the labour market position of vulnerable groups in the INSPIRES countries. The work package was led by the Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia (Prof. Jordi Garcés Ferrer).
The core of WP 2 consisted of eleven country studies that provided an analysis and explanation of the labour market position of the vulnerable groups before and after the economic crisis. Through these country reports, this work package aimed to understand and explain differences in labour market resilience between countries and different vulnerable groups. It therefore provided an in-depth elaboration of the general findings of WP 1. The national reports have been developed combining quantitative sources as statistical data and qualitative sources through interviews with 15 stakeholders in each country. This work package clearly shows that not all European countires have been exposed to the impact of the crisis with the same severity and intensity, which has increased territorial differences. Moreover, the consequences of the crisis have also been distributed unequally over the labour force both within and between countries. Specific national conditions seem to have an impact on both the consequences for the labour force as a whole and the consequences for different groups in the labour market.

The national reports have led to a comparative analysis of each vulnerable group in which the impact of the crisis on each group has been described from a European perspective, also the key factors contributing to the resilience of the different groups have been identified. The most relevant conclusion drawn from the work developed during this deliverable has been that the labour vulnerability is related to age, nationality and disability, conditions which define the four vulnerable groups in the INSPIRES project. Besides these variables, there are some factors that strongly affect their labour vulnerability. Some of these elements are cross-cutting factors affecting all vulnerable groups (Eg. educational level). However, these cross-cutting factors have a different impact on each vulnerable group. Moreover, beyond cross-cutting factors, each vulnerable group has its own specific factors affecting it.

The most relevant factors affecting the labour market position of young people are the difficulties triggered by the process of transition from education to work and the low experience of people aged between 15 and 24. Other factors such as the educational level and the skill mismatches of workers of this age cohort have been revealed as influencing its labour performance. Nevertheless these latter are directly linked to the model of transition from education to work of each national context and to which extent companies are involved in the vocational training and educational system of the country.
Young workers of countries following models with a great involvement and commitment of companies and the industrial sector have been more resilient to the economic crisis.

Considering the role of older workers, most European countries have followed pension schemes which offered very favourable conditions for early retirement. Thus the activity rate among older workers has been reduced as general trend in European countries. Older workers have not been considered as vulnerable group before the crisis as their labour performance was better than among the general working population so the lack of active labour market policies for this group is common in all studied national contexts. The greatest challenge they have to face is the difficulties to return to the labour market once they are unemployed. These difficulties are mainly related to the prejudices on health issues and the obsolete skills of these workers. However, the most relevant strength of this group of workers is the work experience acquired throughout their working lifetime. It has been revealed that employers that have invested in lifelong training of their workers are more likely to retain experienced workers for a certain period of time even if they have to assume losses.

The labour market position of migrant workers and its resilience is very complex to analyse as a high
number of nuances need to be taken into consideration. The most determining factors are the country of origin – and especially how big the difference is between the cultural background of the origin country and the destination country -, the kind of immigration – economic, asylum, refugee - and the generation the immigrant belongs to. These specific factors in turn have a great influence on other factors as the educational level and the discrimination on the basis of cultural differences which are more favourable for latter generations of immigrants.

As for the analysis of the labour market position of migrant workers, the labour market participation of disabled people needs to be analysed from multiple perspectives, including individual factors. The type and grade of disability are key factors to take into consideration before studying the integration in the labour market of this group. Despite the lack of homogeneous data sources, it has been revealed that the commitment of public authorities is very relevant to integration of disabled people in the labour market, especially for preventing employers ́ prejudices. Thus, the imposition of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) duties for the companies, the active labour market policies addressing this group and the subsidies and pension schemes implemented by the States are determining elements affecting the labour conditions of disabled people.

Given the importance of national conditions that appeared from this analysis, the impact and main publications have specifically been aimed at the national contexts with presentations and publications aimed at a national audience. For instance Taylor Gooby’s work on the Divided Welfare State in the UK, but also that of Knuth in Germany and Struyven in Belgium builds upon the national reports that have been constructed for the work package. The same holds true for Van der Torre and Fenger’s 2015 article on work for disabled people in Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken.

Work Package 3 - Identification and analysis of policy innovations

In Work Package 3, the 11 national teams identified 459 labour market innovations introduced between 2000 and 2013 that contributed to inclusiveness and resilience. The national reports are based on a range of sources including academic overviews, policy documents, European and national statistics, and interviews with key stake-holders. The reports analysed the innovations and provided the material for a Europe-level overview (D3.2) in which we have included specific examples of innovations and for the construction of a searchable database of innovations on the website (D3.5).

We were particularly interested in whether we could identify patterns in the innovations and how far trends could be understood as responses to the 2008 economic crisis or to other common challenges, or corresponded to specific features of national welfare states, such as shifts in employment and unemployment patterns or national politics. In general we were unable to identify overall patterns in the information available. This is mainly because patterns of innovation reflect particular national circumstances and are strongly influenced by national political processes. It is important to note that innovations as understood in the Inspires project may be absent because a particular country responds to labour market pressures through the automatic expansion of entitlements or the scope of an existing programme, without the need for innovation. Lack of innovation does not necessarily indicate a lack of labour market pressures or a failure to recognise such pressures.

Despite the inability to draw cross-cutting conclusions, there is one observations that stands out. So far as our data shows, relatively few innovations were implemented in direct response to the crisis. These consisted for the most part of extensions to existing policies. Other innovations, mainly consisting of highly controversial structural reforms, had been discussed long before the crisis and the recession simply represented an opportune moment to implement them. This suggests that the 2008-2014 financial crisis was not as much an initiator of policy innovations, but much more a “window of opportunity” for the introduction of major reforms or restructuring that had been debated already. In addition, crisis-related responses tended to be ad hoc, short-term and contextual.
The strongest theme to emerge across a number of the national reports (including Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Slovenia) is the lack of a coherent and developed overall labour market plan, resting on good evidence, which could direct innovations. Financial constraints and the need to react quickly to shocks in the economy and the labour market seem to limit the capacity to generate coherent innovations with long-term potential. With the onset of the crisis many innovations addressing shocks in the labour market included an extended use of wage and training subsidies, short-time work with benefits, wage stagnation, and more flexibilised working arrangements. However these innovations were not of major importance in the context of the sum of national policies bearing on the labour market.
National trends appear divergent, with some countries extending unemployment coverage and replacement rates to certain groups of workers while others drastically limited the influx into benefit systems. Some countries used social partnership to absorb shocks in the labour market and reduce the likelihood of social risks occurring, whereas others undermined existing bargaining structures and collective agreements.
Relatively few countries (notable exceptions being Germany, the Netherlands and Greece) included improvement of human capital through vocational training in their responses. It was noteworthy that responses in many countries (for example, Spain, Italy, Green, Slovenia and the UK) were more influenced by national political events than by the crisis. This is clearest in the UK, which developed a more or less coherent plan, involving cut-backs in entitlement, privatization of service delivery and benefit cuts to increase incentives in a liberal market model after the 2010 election. In Greece, and in other Southern EU countries where responses are heavily influenced by joint EU, IMF and ECB recovery plans the implementation of what are on paper coherent programmes is heavily influenced by national political developments.

These findings are of interest because they indicate a lack of overall pattern and throw researchers’ attention onto the national context. The value of the research lies precisely in identifying the changes in those contexts. Because these changes vary so greatly it is anticipated that the searchable database will be of considerable use to those involved in policy debate and in policy-making: it will enable users to identify and consider alternative solutions to issues that arise on their own national agenda. The lack of a consistent, overall response both within and between country has specifically been addressed in the Taylor Gooby and Otto 2015 publication on ‘New Welfare’ in the Journal of Social Policy.

Work package 4 – In-depth analysis of processes of development and implementation of selected innovations

The goal of WP4 was to study in depth the origins, the method of development and the processes of implementation of 54 selected innovative practices and to identify the parameters that affect their implementation in a comparative perspective. The research teams focused on three crucial dimensions that directed the analysis of each innovation. The first dimension refers to the time perspective of the expected results, the second on the role of institutions and actors involved in the policy formulation and implementation and the third dimension covers the constraints imposed from the nexus of context-factors and parameters which - in conjunction with the institutions/actors dimension- configure the regime of policy development.
The data collection in each of the countries involved consisted of 25 in-depth interviews (275 interviews in the 11 countries altogether) with key stakeholders and the analysis of relevant documents which revealed 18 crucial variables that influence the design and implementation of policy innovations related to the resilience of labour markets.
The synthetic report based on the 11 national reports summed up outcomes of major importance for those who intent to plan and implement innovative policies in the labour market and provided crucial information about the role of participation in policy innovations:


1. Don’t neglect the national context
As already concluded in WP3 innovations can only be understood in national context. In the synthetic report of WP4 we identified four alternative national routes for the adoption and implementation of innovations.
1. The first route (typical to the UK and in some respects also Scotland) is based on centralist decision making, strong administrative capacities and robust evidence supporting effective, rapid and paradigm changes by facilitating “insurrectionaries” .
2. The second route (which characterizes Germany, Netherland, Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland) is based on social dialogue and consensus, widespread consultation, robust evidence and systematic evaluation and inclines to step-by-step changes and incremental shifts which facilitate the long-term mutation to paradigm changes through “layering”.
3. In the third route (that is dominant in Greece, Slovenia and Hungary) there in no social dialogue, no robust evidence and no capable administration. This interacts with strong exogenous pressures, sudden changes, very limited financial resources and EU financial and technical assistance with ambiguous results. The innovations adopted and developed under this route are normally instrumental (Hall 1993) and paradigm shifts are mainly imposed from external funders and/or the EU rules and practices impeding the capacity of those countries to make changes, since it does not strengthen social dialogue and their own administrative capacities.
4. The fourth route (favorable in Spain and Italy) is characterized by limited social dialogue, ambivalent evidence, regionalization and a strong influence of governmental changes. In this route the innovations focus mainly on instrumental changes while paradigm shifts are often documented on EU rules.

2. Pay attention to political institutions and conjunctures
A centralized political system concentrates power and permits more space for maneuvers facilitating rapid paradigm changes by “displacement”. It facilitates, also, the policy making processes and quick-decision making without major delays which may be caused by the procedures and practices followed during the social dialogue. Centralism occasionally nurtures dissatisfaction and turmoil if the introduction of innovations and their development are not documented properly in robust evidence and acceptable evaluations or if they are not embedded in consensual culture and substantial social dialogue and consultation. Participation in any case includes shifts and rebalances in power relations between citizens and public authorities.
Contrary to the consensual culture of social dialogue and participation a polarized party system may obscure innovations and their smooth development by interrupting changes or by resetting previous arrangements. These changes may be minor if the political culture is consensual or major in the context of conflictual political culture (e.g. abolishment of early retirement in Greece, New Labour Code in Hungary).
Additionally, if there are fluctuations and unstable power equilibriums between the different layers of government this may imply strong veto-points and veto-players. Occasionally, partisan veto-players may obscure changes by mobilizing their links to opposition political parties (e.g. Agency work in Germany).

3. Consider seriously the financial issues
Financial constraints may affect the ability of actors to develop innovations as well as to strongly influence their impact. In most countries, budgetary retrenchments boost actors towards more efficient policy options with stronger links to employment (e.g. Activity Compensation Act in Sweden). In many countries financial incapacities enforce numerical clauses to the number of actual beneficiaries or they limit the amount of properly qualified staff available for the implementation of innovations (e.g. Spain, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia). In some occasions of financial assistance from EU, the rules and procedures are not in compliance with domestic rules and this causes malfunctions and frictions (e.g. Youths’ guarantee in Slovenia, Employment for Public Benefit in Greece).
Financial deficiencies may also boost authorities towards urgent measures with the goal to “save money” which in its turn may create discontent that create barriers to an effective and efficient implementation (e.g. pension reforms in Greece and Belgium).

4. Pay heed to the time-frame
When innovations are planned to be developed step-by-step and policy actors manage to delay their harmful effects to beneficiaries they are developed quite smoothly.
On the other side, if innovations restrict entitlements ( e.g. requirements for retirement) and the new rules are activated directly permitting only a very short time for adjustments in entitlements, those with current full entitlement crowded together not to abolish it and as a consequence the results are contrary to the expected (e.g. Slovenia and Greece).
In occasions of step-by-step development of innovations in the mid-term (3-5 years) the reactions and malfunctions can be managed better and discontent is limited (e.g. New Deal in UK, GY11 in Sweden, Case-Management in Switzerland, New Minimum Pensions in Netherlands).

5. Do not disregard the embedded administrative practices
The adoption of New Public Management approaches facilitates the introduction and development of innovations leaving room for maneuvers and adjustments to local agencies (e.g. apprenticeship reforms in Switzerland). Sometimes the lack of qualified and/or sufficient staff may weaken the administration of innovations (e.g. Spain). The administrative capacities of the involved actors in the development and implementation of innovations are satisfactory if systematic evaluations are regularly conducted (e.g. Finsam in Sweden, New Deal in UK and statutory minimum wage in Germany).

The variables and factors identified are WP4 is not exhaustive, but allow for the construction of an analytical framework that enables the assessment of the development and implementation process of policy innovations. In the different countries there are specific combinations of variables influencing the design, adoption and implementation of policy innovations at the national level. These different configurations interrelate with the historical and socioeconomic conjunctures that are prevalent in each country and establish alternative routes towards the normal development of policy innovations. From this perspective, the development of learning infrastructures and inter-state networks and platforms concerning key-qualitative characteristics of policy innovations facilitates their adaptability and adoption in the different national contexts.

WP 5 - Identification and analysis of processes of policy learning in 11 European countries
Work package 5 identified in-depthly how processes of policy learning are taking place throughout Europe. It focuses specifically on the policy learning infrastructure and the monitoring and feedback loops between policy design, policy implementation and policy evaluation. The basis material for this work package consists of national country studies on the structure of policy research and policy advice in the area of labour market policies, as well as a process tracing of the way in which policy innovations have developed.
Policy learning is generally regarded as a highly valuable activity, however, it appeared that the notion of learning can be understood in different ways and that different objectives can be assigned to the process of learning.
Policy learning can pursue different objectives
First, in the majority of instances policy learning is understood as a process of performance evaluation and improvement. This is a rather technical view of policy making, and learning refers to a unproblematized notion of improving the quality of policy. Second, in some instances, policy learning has been understood in somewhat broader terms, i.e. the capacity of government and other relevant actors to develop a vision for the future development of a given policy area. Third, in some cases, policy learning processes play a rather different function, i.e. that of building consensus. By involving the relevant political actors in the analysis, assessment of existing policy solutions, it is hoped to generate shared views that will facilitate the emergence of a consensus.
The tools of policy learning
Our analysis allowed us to identify the main process and tools that are used for policy learning in the 11 countries covered. Virtually all countries have public bodies of different nature that are responsible for the evaluation of policy and/or for the development of visions and longer term planning. Sometimes these bodies are located within ministries (Switzerland, Slovenia) sometimes that are intentionally given some independence from political power (e.g. the Spanish employment observatory or the UK’s Low Pay commission). The second major category in the learning infrastructure entails expert councils. These are located at the intersection of the public and the private sphere. In fact, they are commissions that are either permanent or not, which are composed of experts on a certain topic. Third category of the policy learning tools are institutions and organizations that are related to political parties, interest groups and the civil society.
Dimensions of variation
Our cross-national comparison allowed us to identify four relevant dimensions of variation
• Centralization vs. pluralism
• Stability vs. discontinuity
• Independence vs. politicization
• Effectiveness evaluation vs vision building

We argue that these are the most important dimensions of variation and that countries need to find appropriate equilibria across them.

The importance of salience
From a political science perspective our analysis allowed us also to identify a connection between salience and learning, given that the country reports analyzed learning processes regarding very different policy problems with differences in problem pressure and political salience. Problem pressure refers to the time available to respond to pass a reform regarding a certain policy challenge. Salience refers to the degree of which a problem receives political attention. Our analysis has shown that learning varies according to the problem pressure and the salience of an issue. Problems with very high problem pressure and high salience, such the challenges for fiscal and labor market policies in Southern Europe during times of crisis, lead to a very fast reaction by governments, which does not entail a lot of learning in the technical and evaluative sense of the term. In these cases, political considerations are above all drivers of reform decisions simply because there is no time for learning. On the other hand, in case of policy challenges where the time pressure to react is lower, salient issues will increase the capacity of policy learning as decision makers will take the issues seriously and consider policy relevant research for policy formulation. In these instances, due to the lower problem pressure, there is enough time to develop a political solution.

Work package 6 - Critical assessment of the EU’s role in policy learning

WP6 focused on the role of the EU in terms of learning processes, contextualization processes and institutional settings. This was done by proceeding in three steps:
• Investigating the integration of EU’s influence in domestic policy discourses;
• Analyzing if and how EU influence had an influence on the emergence and development of specific social policy and labour market innovations in a selection of countries
• analyzing the opinions and evaluations of key stakeholders at the European level on the EU’s role in policy learning

This WP mainly involved six of the 11 countries (Belgium, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland).

The findings of the WP can be summarized in the light of: i) Organisational learning and policy learning infrastructure of the EU, and ii) Contextualization of policy learning promoted by the EU (national diversity, types of influence and discourses).

1) Organisational learning and policy learning infrastructure of the EU
The WP stresses the conditions under which EU policy learning takes place both within the EU exemplified with a certain policy measure (Youth Guarantee) but also how it is experienced at the national level for selected innovations. It thus raised the question about how organizations – in our case the EU - learn and participates by itself in policy learning.

Our empirical study on the Youth Guarantee showed that the policy learning infrastructure at EU level reveals a serious tensions; one between the general interest and need of the Commission to learn from others and to increase input of a variety of stakeholders and its way to handle these. EU agencies are in need of non-biased information of a broad range of actors to avoid criticism for subsequent policy failures but also to address the so-called democratic deficit and the presumed distrust in the EU; yet, at the same time procedures are needed to manage the input of the increasing number stakeholders that want to get influence. EU agencies experience a situation where policy learning takes place and is influenced by the same group of people and actors yet, were often missing the involvement of national and sub-national stakeholders as the real experts that can give real new input. The creation of new fora intending to improve the policy learning infrastructure had in reality quite the opposite effect. Limited influence of participating groups, reduced financing of interest groups or actors excluded from information were some consequences thereof.

Policy learning infrastructure points to the importance of tools and processes of policy learning. It reveals in the case of the Youth Guarantee that there is an obvious risk that the claim of the EU to actively promote and cultivate participation of EU groups of all kind is being transferred in pure ‘window dressing’ with limited interest in taking these groups opinions into consideration.

2) Contextualization of policy learning promoted by the EU national diversity
The other point of interest in this WP is the importance of the national contexts for the influence of the EU on domestic policy. Europe is characterized by a high diversity of national social and labour policy systems. These variations include the institutional structures of the member states’ social and labour market policy schemes as well as the performance of these. The diversity of policies and institutions constitutes special conditions for policy learning. On the one hand, these variations are an important precondition for policy learning since institutional diversity allows for the comparison of different solutions for innovation problems. On the other hand, since innovation processes are always context-specific, policy learning (not only by the EU but also) is extraordinarily demanding as it requires knowledge of the local conditions responsible for the success of a policy programme. National diversity of social and labour policy systems functions as mediating factors in policy learning and can promote or hinder the influence of the EU on domestic policies learning. In our study it is revealed that countries as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden experience EU influence in less stronger degree as Italy, Belgium or Hungary. National fragmentation of administrative and political institutions and devolution processes but also bad performances in a variety of social and labour market indicators are characteristics features in Italy and Belgium and are experienced as drivers for policy learning from the EU. The EU here can fill a role as an extern authority solving national struggles or as a source of inspiration/spreading best practice. Yet, in other contexts national diversity can also imply obstacles for the EU to gain influence. Unwillingness to adapt EU influences or even aversion against EU (normative) influences can generate hinder for policy learning. This is the case for example in Hungary where the abolition of an administrative infrastructure for negotiations and contacts between national and EU level actors is an effective strategy for eliminating exchange of knowledge and interactions. Usage of media and the way the EU is covered is another one. A crucial and apparently decisive factor to experience less influence from the EU is however good performances in various policy areas as is the case in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland – all countries seeing themselves as fore-runners and with no need to adapt to policy learning from the EU. So even if those countries perform less good in one area (as Sweden concerning youth unemployment) the pressure exerted by the EU is not as profound as it would be in the case of Italy. The opposite is also true when countries perform badly in various outcomes or do not adapt to EU regulations. The situations in Greece, Italy or Spain are obvious examples for that.

Policy learning on domestic innovations induced by the EU can be of various nature such as substantive and procedural influences. On a general level, all EU Member States have to adapt national regulations to EU policies, thus the pure status as a member of the EU results in modifications of domestic policies. Specific tools or measures can further provoke or even enforce a shift in policy content in particular countries (e.g. setting pension reforms on the agenda, shift of policies towards active labour market policies, or cuts in public spending or even guaranteeing to apply EU wide standards), others can function as a push factor for ongoing reform efforts. Least far reaching is a substantive influence that activates reflexive learning (mirror own experiences) but does not result in learning from others or just acting as a source of inspiration for new ways and methods to carry out social policy. Procedural influencing can imply that MS create new administrative procedures (e.g. for handling ESF funding, gathering systematic national data), administrative units or positions that have the function to organise and channel exchange with the EU level. Yet, procedural influence can also go further and alter eligibility criteria for benefits or participation in ALMP through requirements for ESF funds. Here procedural influence can spill over and provoke substantial change. A third and most profound procedural influence is the one altering domestic institutional structures or power relations (e.g. regions responsible for management of both active and passive LMP, EU as power factor overcoming struggle between domestic actors).

As mentioned above the dignity of influence by the EU on domestic policy is mediated by national social policy schemes capacity and performance. This leads to the prevailing discussion about different camps that exist within the EU with for example donor countries and recipient countries (with the acronym of PIGS, as one pair of camps or the camp of northern and southern members). The debt crisis harmed the social policy and labour market schemes in particular in eastern and southern EU Member States. These are more backward in economic strength and social benefits than northern member states, and even more than before the crisis. Consequently, we see several types of influence affecting innovations in countries where policies do not function as well or where political and administrative capacities are low.

The different role the EU plays in the six countries is also mirrored in the discourses about the EU in the investigated countries. The perception of the EU shows several faces. Whereas in the Northern countries the discourse about the EU is absent or hidden, in the Southern European countries (and Belgium) the EU is a more present actor in national discourses. In correspondence with the literature we can observe differences between public discourses and discourses among experts/policy makers. When it comes to the public discourse, the EU is often perceived as the “bad guy” being responsible for cuts in social spending, lowering salaries or in general measures that directly affect citizens’ everyday life in a negative way. Other measures proposed by the EU that would imply a strengthening of EU citizens’ rights against their governments’ policy are not reported in the public discussion in the same extent or are part of an expert discourse that is not carried out in the public. The visibility of the EU in terms of innovations, resources or requirements for improvements and thus influencing policies in a cognitive way –seems also be exclusively the case in expert discourses. For the project of the European integration, this divided picture of the EU is something to be aware of; in the long-term this can have fatal consequences and even strengthen the view about the EU between the different camps.

The diversity of national social and labour policy systems, their functioning and performance plays a decisive role for policy learning driven by the EU on domestic level. The discourse about the EU as an active part for national policy making seems to be dominated by its role in enforcing austerity measures and ignoring creative learning processes.
The work of WP6 will enable us to more profound investigate the role of the EU in policy learning at the domestic level in times of crisis. One example of that is the ongoing work with the book chapter
“Pressures for change? The EU influence on domestic social and labour market policies in five European countries” that will be published within the INSPIRES project. Another example is the PhD of Lisa Andersson using the data from WP6 for her dissertation on youth policies in European countries that includes the role of the EU.

Work package 7 – Integrating work package: identifying lessons for resilience, innovations and policy learning

WP7 has produced six deliverables D7.1: The Final Integrative report on contributing and constraining factors for resilience, innovation and policy lessons, D7.2: The Final Policy report presenting outcomes of virtual policy Delphi. D7.3) National Workshop Events involving policy makers, practitioners, representatives of employer’s organisations, trade unions and vulnerable groups were held in Hungary, Italy, and Scotland during May, 2016. All three workshops were very constructive and have informed the action orientated policy briefs for diverse target groups and the EU Directed Policy Brief on instruments that may be used to advance the EU 2020 Strategy’s goals. D7.4 (EU-directed policy brief); An EU-directed policy brief on instruments that may be used to advance the EU 2020 Strategy’s goals. This policy brief was developed through a synthetic analysis of work completed during the earlier two stages of the INSPIRES project. This work and subsequent policy recommendations was closely aligned to the EU’s current social and employment policies as reflected in the EU 2020 strategy with a focus on recommendations for instruments that may be used to attain important long-term policy goals. D7.5 (national reports) All of the National Integrative Reports were received and these reports will also contribute to the planned Edited Volume ‘'The Resilience of European Labour Markets’ with Policy Press as National sub-chapters. D7.6 (Four action-oriented policy briefs) Four action-oriented policy briefs) for diverse target groups, aimed at (1) social partners (trade unions, representatives of employer organisations and vulnerable groups and national and regional policy makers have been produced and will be disseminated to social partners across Europe.

The most important deliverable within this work package is D7.1 as the detailed analysis of on contributing and constraining factors for resilience, innovation and policy lessons formed the basis of the EU Directed Policy Brief on instruments that may be used to advance the EU 2020 Strategy’s goals and also the Four action-orientated policy briefs which were used to initiate further discussion between policy makers, practitioners, representatives of employers organisations, trade unions and vulnerable groups were held in Hungary, Italy, and Scotland. In Scotland, whilst the main focus was on youth transitions, there was also a good deal of discussion relating to older workers particularly with regard to levels of long-term unemployment amongst this groups. This issue also arose during the Italian Workshop. Each National Workshop utilised national policy briefs directed at Policy Makers at national and local level, and other stakeholders including trade union representatives and representatives of vulnerable groups. The National Policy Briefs to stimulate discussion during the workshop and to also enable the development of recommendations. A Policy Brief Series was then produced. Distinct policy briefs were produced for (i) National and Local Policy Makers, (ii) Representatives of Trade Unions (EU, National and Regional level) (iii) Representatives of Vulnerable Groups and (iv) Representatives of Employer Organisations at National and Regional Level. Strategic aligned social, educational and economic policies and innovations specifically targeted at positive transitions between education and employment were explicitly identified as being crucial to the long-term inclusion of young people in the labour market across all INSPIRES Countries. Positive transitions equally form a critical juncture for labour market resilience and inclusion for disabled people, older workers and migrant groups. In all of these cases it is the removal of different forms of barriers to employment, early intervention, tailored support, education and up-skilling were evidenced as being crucial to effective transitions. Innovations with negative long-term impacts on labour market trajectories of young people included programmes which emphasised a work-first rather than a skills first approach. Whilst these approaches did provide short term job placement opportunities for young people evidence from INSPIRES countries reveals that poor quality jobs and placement opportunities mitigated against long term sustainable career paths for young people.. These cases included examples where job placements had a scarring effect on the self-confidence and well-being of young people. Another key finding related to the use of transnational dual apprenticeship programmes operated by major companies such as the German company Bosch located in other EU states. Whilst these programmes were found to be beneficial in reducing levels of youth unemployment in countries in Southern Europe and providing excellent training opportunities for young people, the analysis of data suggests that the long term impact of dual apprenticeship programmes upon local and regional industrial, labour market and economic resilience within distinct INSPIRES countries requires further investigation. Here it is argued that a dual investment approach in the local economic and educational infrastructure alongside transnational dual apprenticeship programmes would offer a more sustainable solution within regions exhibiting high levels of unemployment. Overall it is be argued that the strategic alignment of policies relating to skills matching and economic development within and between European countries is pivotal to the sustainable development of transnational dual apprenticeship programmes. It is also argued that EaSI funding instruments would be very useful to this strategic approach.

The results from Work Package Seven will inform an Edited Volume to be published by Policy Press 'The Resilience of European Labour Markets' This volume builds upon the central findings of WP7 by utilising the dual concepts of resilience and inclusion as a way of understanding the position of vulnerable groups within European labour markets between 2000 and 2016. In particular the book offers an important contribution to knowledge relating to the impact of employment and social policies upon the resilience and inclusion of labour following economic crises. The book provides a systematic overview of the level of inclusion and resilience of labour markets in Germany, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These chapters focus on the development of labour market participation and unemployment in general, and the labour market position of four specific vulnerable groups: youth, disabled workers, older workers and migrants. In addition the results of WP7 have informed the establishment of a new Book Series with Policy Press. ‘Re-inventing the Welfare State in Europe’ to provide contemporary research on policies, practices and theories relating to the re-invention of welfare states in Europe since the Financial and Economic Crises of 2008-2009. In line with the analytical framework adopted in WP7 encompassing a range of policy areas and services which contribute to the resilience and inclusion of vulnerable groups in European labour markets and societies the volumes within the series will focus on policy innovations and approaches within key welfare areas including social security, employment and labour markets, education, social welfare, social work, housing and health. The series will be directed at undergraduate and post-graduate students, academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners at International, national, sub-national level being ideal for decision makers, academics and practitioners who have a professional interest in developing innovative approaches within the welfare field. Each series volume will focus on policy innovations and approaches within and across welfare areas and provide critical chapters discussing innovative policies, practices and theories. The series will invite a broad range of disciplinary and disciplinary approaches including social policy, economics, political science and public management. Volumes within the series will focus upon welfare innovations designed to impact upon the well-being of individuals and groups across Europe. As such the collection has the potential to engage a broad range of stakeholders including policy makers, practitioners, representatives of vulnerable groups and academics within distinctive within and across welfare fields. Dr Marion Ellison is also producing a single authored book for Edward Elgar on ‘Youth Vulnerability, Inequality and Social Exclusion in Europe, Policy Lessons and Innovations for Improving Young People’s Transitions into Work’. This book builds upon the findings of D7.1 – the Integrative Report and discussions within the National Workshops (D7.4) This book will be published in July, 2017.

Work package 8: Project management

The management of the project in general was successful, INSPIRES has delivered a large amount of deliverables and publications with as the most important result that the concept of labour market resilience has found its way into the European discourse. Moreover, INSPIRES has delivered important insights in the characteristics and processes of innovation, specifically in response to the 2008-2014 crisis.
In the original proposal, the number of General Assembly meetings was kept low as the Project Coordination Committee – the ongoing work package leaders and the project manager – was concerned as the most important management meeting. However, other participants requested to become more involved so a system of annual; General meeting has been established, in addition with ad-hoc meetings. The kick-off meeting took place in Rotterdam on 23 January 2013. Consecutive meetings all took place at the annual ESPANET Conferences in September in Poznan (2013), Oslo (2014) and Odense (2015). Additional meeting took place in Canterbury (16 January 2014) to discuss the progress of work package 2 and 3, in Duisburg (6 November 2014) to discuss the selection of innovations for WP 4 and 5 and in Budapest (11 February 2016) to discuss the general direction of WP 6 and WP 7. In addition, a lot of management issues have been resolved through bilateral email or skype meetings.
However, there also have been some management challenges that have affected the planning and the delivery of some deliverables. We would like to highlight two of these problems. First, the construction of the database and the indicators of labour market resilience in WP 1 – which was the base of the project – took much more time than anticipated. This has led to delays later in the process. All in all, we are happy to have been able to deliver the final deliverables by the end of August, but it also implies that some dissemination activities will be implemented after the end of the project. Most notably, an edited volume with Policy Press on labour market resilience in Europe is scheduled for 2017. Secondly, there has been a deliberate choice to distribute the CEE countries over Europe. However, this has created a large consortium with 13 partners from 11 countries. The benefits of this approach is clear as we consider the output of INSPIRES, but the diversity and number of participants has created difficulties sometimes in imposing a coherent direction and strict deadlines on all participants.

Work package 9: Dissemination and coordination of dissemination
See next section

Potential Impact:
Potential impact and main dissemination activities and exploitation results

In the Description of Work for the INSPIRES project, various activities have been defined to facilitate the dissemination of results.

First, a Professional Advisory Board and Academic Advisory Board have been foreseen in the project. A list of people who have agreed to become member of these boards can be found as an appendix. However, it proved logistically impossible to have the boards meet in real life. Moreover, it proved harder than expected to define the adequate role for both boards. Therefore, the role of these boards has remained limited to receiving the outputs of the project and interacting on a bilateral base with members of the INSPIRES team. However, the bilateral contacts with the professional advisory board has proved useful in gaining access to the policy field in the work packages 2, 3 4 and 5. Moreover, members of the professional advisory board have participated in the virtual policy Delphi in WP 7.

In addition, a distinction can be made to impact on professionals in the policy field, impact on the academic community and generic impact. We will address each of these domains.

Impact on practitioners and policy-makers
The INSPIRES project has received attention from various policy domains. There has been a large number of presentations by researchers from the INSPIRES network. However, the attention and the impact varied considerably between countries. In some countries (the Netherlands, UK) the role has primarily been that of providing information and research results, whereas in other countries (Spain, Italy, Scotland) policy makers and practitioners were more actively engaged in the project. Researchers in all countries have been invited to practitioner’s fora to present their work, among others at the Dutch, Greek and Flemish Ministry of Social Affairs, the Scottish Parliament and the OECD. In addition, in different stages of the project workshops with national practitioners and professionals, for instance in a series of national workshops with the results of work packages 1 and 2, and in national workshops related to work package 7. A workshop for EU policy makers and lobbyist has been organized in Brussels in 2015.
The INSPIRES project has specifically focused on deliverables that are easy accessible for public managers and policy makers. A few examples are the benchmark report representing the resilience and labour market position of different vulnerable groups in different countries and the European map with these data that is accessible through the website, the guide of best practices for the participation of vulnerable groups in policy-making and implementation and a report on best practices in policy learning infrastructures. Moreover, representatives of vulnerable groups have actively been involved in the data collection of work package 2.

Impact on the academic community

Academic publications
The research results of the different work packages have resulted in numerous publications. These are publications in academic journals, as edited volumes, and special issues (see overview in electronic participant portal). There is also an agreement with Policy Press about an edited volume on Labour Market Resilience in Europe to be published in 2017.

The ELMaR dataset that has been created in WP 1 is available and is actually used by various researchers. Moreover, the database of policy innovations consists of descriptions of 450 different policy innovations with a consistent format. This material is available for secondary analysis.

Academic workshops and conferences
Researchers from the INSPIRES Project have presented at a large number of European and national conferences. Moreover, streams related to resilience and innovation have been established at ESPANET 2013 and 2014. Also at ESPANET 2016 an INSPIRES-related stream on trajectories of innovation will be hosted, which is the most popular stream of the conference. As ESPANET 2016 is hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam, the conference theme ‘Reinventing the welfare state’ specifically addresses one on the main findings of the work packages 4, 5 and 7: exploring a limited number of trajectories of innovation in social policies and the contextual conditions under which these trajectories occur.

Research reports
The output of INSPIRES includes a range of research reports that have been made available to a wider public in the INSPIRES working paper series. We specifically refer to:
1. Bigos et al. (2013), Review Essay on Labour Market Resilience
2. Valia Contada et al. (2014), Comparative Report on the Explanation of Differences in Labour Market Positions of Vulnerable Groups
3. Otto and Taylor Gooby (2014), A Comparative cross-national analysis of policy innovations related to the inclusiveness and resilience of labour markets in Europe
4. Minas (2015), Policy learning infrastructure at EU level – stakeholders and their policy learning opportunities in the case of the Youth Guarantee
5. Trein (2015), Literature report: A review of policy learning in five strands of political science research
6. Dimoulas (2016), Synthetic report on the development, implementation and performance of innovations
7. Synthetic report on processes of policy learning;
8. Policy report presenting the outcomes of the virtual policy Delphi;
9. Integrative report on contributing and constraining factors for resilience, policy learning and innovation;
10. Synthetic report on assessment of EU coordination practices.

In addition, the INSPIRES Project has delivered several national reports which – due to their comparative structure and methods of data-collection in different countries - are available for secondary analysis by other researchers. We specifically refer to
• WP 2
• WP 4& 5
• WP 6
• WP 7

Open access strategy
In line with the ‘open access’ movement, and in order to ensure unrestricted access to the research material, all deliverables have been made available at the project’s website, even if they also formed input for an academic publication. In accordance with the open access pilot of the European Commission, and clause 39 of the Grant Agreement, project partners have undertaken efforts to deposit peer-reviewed articles into their institutional repository or subject repositories whenever possible. In the final months of the project, a lot of important deliverables have become available. Therefore, we also expect a lot of INSPIRES-related publication to appear in 2017 and 2018. To facilitate the impact of INSPIRES beyond its end date, Erasmus University will continue the website and appoint a project assistant to make the forthcoming but also the already published INSPIRES-related material accessible through the website, also by cross-refereeing to institutional or subject-based repositories.

Generic impact
The INSPIRES website is the key resource for all INSPIRES-related material. It also includes the ELMaR database, the innovations database and an interactive map. In first instance, we have also used twitter and facebook to attract attention. However, it appeared difficult to reach the intended audience through these media. Therefore, Linkedin has become the social network of choice for INSPIRES. The Linked in group now has over 1000 connections and is still increasing, probably even more so when the final batch of deliverables is published on the website and through Linkedin. The website has attracted over 11.000 unique visitors and almost 100.000 page views from all over the world. .

Griekse website

Public Engagement
Especially amidst the current economic crisis, the labour market position of vulnerable groups in many of INSPIRES’ participating countries is one of the top-priority social issues. INSPIRES’ scholars seek to actively engage in an informed public debate about these issues, by bringing evidence, facts and experiences from other countries into this debate. Three strategies will be used for this. First, INSPIRES scholars will actively participate in social media discussions (Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter), responding to knowledge questions or intended policy measures. Second, INSPIRES will actively seek to present key findings in authored contributions to the quality press (‘Op-Eds’). Finally, INSPIRES scholars will actively seek collaboration with national and sub-national clients’ organizations or interest groups representing vulnerable groups to discuss findings.

C. Generic dissemination, aimed at all stakeholder groups
Web based dissemination activities
The INSPIRES online presence constitutes a cornerstone of the dissemination strategy. It will be conceptualized at the outset of the project by the project management, building on the partners’ experiences in relation to the RECWOWE project and the HOPES network. The online presence of the project has three purposes:
• Internal communication tool for the project (wikispace)
• Presentation of project outputs, using accessible formats (i.e. fact sheets, case study catalogue) to raise the interest of a variety of stakeholders
• Providing a communication platform for the engagement of a community of practice of key stakeholders
To these ends, INSPIRES online presence will
• use multimedia (video streams of presentations, interviews etc.) for presentational purposes
• include a blog and a twitter-feed targeting the interested public
• have a discussion forum to engage a community of practice in the discussion of innovative approaches for resilient and inclusive labour markets
• provide a mailing list to inform a large group of stakeholders about publications, events, findings etc.
• include all practitioner tools, reports and publications mentioned elsewhere in the dissemination plan.

Research Reports
The output of INSPIRES includes a range of research reports that will be made available to a wider public. These reports will also be used to keep stakeholders committed, and to communicate about the progress of the project to the European Commission. A detailed list of reports is available in table 1.3b and includes:
• Eleven national reports on the labour market position of vulnerable groups, both qualitatively and quantitatively (D2.2)
• A synthetic academic report providing comparative analysis of policy innovations (D3.4)
• Report on the opinions of key stakeholder on the Eu’s role in policy learning (D6.2)
• Policy report presenting the outcomes of the virtual policy Delphi (D 7.4)
• Integrative report on contributing and constraining factors fro resilience, policy learning and innovation (D 7.1)
• Synthetic report on assessment of EU coordination practices (D6.5)

List of Websites:
Project manager:
Prof.dr. Menno Fenger
Erasmus Univerisity Rotterdam
+ 31 10 4082534