Session C3: COPE: The Multi-level Governance of Active Inclusion Policies

Session organisers: Dorothee Spannagel (COPE), Deborah Rice (LOCALISE)


  1. Daniel Clegg: “Comparative presentation on the national arena of combating poverty
  2. Dorothee Spannagel: “Anti-poverty policies in cities with a strong industrial heritage



Reducing poverty and social exclusion is one of the main challenges Europe is currently facing; a task that is especially relevant in order to strengthen social cohesion in Europe. This session deals with the question how anti-poverty policies are governed and delivered in the European multi-level system. Such strategies that aim at combating poverty can rely on three pillars: Minimum income provision, access to quality services and activation measures. Together, these three pillars constitute the active inclusion triad; a paradigm that is strongly promoted by the EU as a comprehensive strategy to combat poverty.

The session builds on research conducted in the FP7-Project “COPE- Combating Poverty in Europe: Re-organising Active Inclusion through Participatory and Integrated Modes of Multilevel Governance”. Following the project approach, special focus is put on three of the most vulnerable groups: Long-term unemployed, single parents and working poor. The task is to examine how active inclusion policies, especially those targeted at these three groups, are organized in practice. In order to have a closer look at this issue, the session deals with the following key questions, each of them addressing a different arena in the multi-level governance setting described above:

  • How are active inclusion policies framed in the European arena?
  • How are they governed and regulated on the national level?
  • And finally, how are they delivered to needy persons or households on the local level?

These issues will be examined in a comparative way by looking at results for five European countries (Germany, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom and Sweden). This comparative, multi-dimensional perspective allows having a close look at the state of the art in anti-poverty policies, identifying best practice examples and naming drawbacks and future challenges for effective and comprehensive anti-poverty policies.