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Is the Juice worth the Squeeze?

Making the most of streamlining and the OMC for social inclusion and social protection in the EU?

Streamlining, a new start for the OMC in social inclusion and protection

After five years of implementation of the OMC* in the fields of social inclusion and pensions, the mid-term review of theLisbon Strategy triggered new changes in one of the instruments of social policy at the EU level. There were initially, two separate processes, one for inclusion, aiming at intensifying the effort of poverty eradication, the other for pensions, promoting policy exchanges on pension reform. Recently, a so called “streamlining” of social protection and social inclusion policies was introduced.

This calls for greater efficiency and a more results oriented coordination in all on-going processes, through integrated action in inclusion, pensions, and health and longterm care policies. After a first joint report on social protection and social inclusion from the Commission for the 2006 Spring Council, member states are now invited to submit their new integrated national reports 2006-2008 by October 2006. A first evaluation will take place in early 2007, following the multilateral monitoring procedure of these earlier independent processes.