Grenoble, 21 – 22 November 2008 – Forum on Social Experimentation in Europe

November, 21-22 Grenoble. Intervention of Marjorie Jouen author of "Social policy Experimentation in Europe: Towards a more complete and effective Palette of the EU Action for Social Innovation.

Marjorie Jouen will speak during a seminar organised by French Presidency of the Council of the European Union “Social policy Experimentation in Europe: Towards a more complete and effective Palette of the EU Action for Social Innovation”. 
The event will take place on 21-22 November 2008 in Grenoble. Please find the agenda attached.

In several European countries, the renewal of

social policy often has its roots in social innovations undertaken at local level. When

these projects involve testing an initiative on a small scale in order to measure its effects,

with a view to its possible generalisation, they are referred to as social experimentation.

This experimental tool for transforming public

policy is attracting greater interest, both within member states and at European level. These

successful experimentations provide results that can be exploited by decision makers in

all the Member States..

This was one of the messages that emerged from

the 7th European Round Table on poverty and social exclusion, and the first meeting of

European ministers responsible for these issues, held on 15 and 16 October. Developing

social experimentation was therefore encouraged, because it contributes to

identifying good practice on the part of member states, helps determine appropriate levers for public


The European Commission also underlined the

usefulness of this tool in the renewed social agenda adopted on 2 July. In a recent opinion,

the European Economic and Social Committee took up a clear position in favour

of its development.

The issue now is to follow up these positions

in operational terms. This is the goal of our Forum. It should enable us to reach concrete

results in order to reinforce the social Europe.

Promoting social experimentation in Europe

means deepening the implications of this intervention method by learning from former

experiences and discussing on the programmes that should be conducted in order to take

benefit from a transnational perspective. This should involve specifying the benefits

provided by this instrument and discussing the

conditions under which it should be developed,

implemented and evaluated, together with all the actors concerned. It should also involve

determining the conditions for generalising the experimentations that yield good results on a

national scale. Finally, it should enable us to better define the possibilities for sharing

and transferring between member states the lessons learned from successful experimentations in

order to reinforce European and national

strategies for poverty reduction.

The Forum on Social Experimentation in Europe

will contribute to better identifying the conditions for success and the possibilities

for working together – through transnational programmes on social experimentation, in

particular – to develop this tool effectively.

Such an approach to this concrete and

innovative tool will strengthen our capacity to respond appropriately and decisively to the obstacles

facing people living in poverty. By establishing a permanent working process, this Forum will

contribute to this aim in a decisive way.

Martin Hirsch

High Commissioner for Active

Inclusion Against Poverty