Regional and local responses to poverty and social exclusion - Forum held on 8 June 2010 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels:

In the context of the 'European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion', the Committee of the Regions invited local and regional authorities, organisations and EU institutions to exchange good practice and expertise in the fight against poverty and social exclusion at local level. Full information on this event, including speeches and video clip, can be found on the CoR Website

The European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion was set in local and regional actors’ agendas already in 2009, when the 2010 Social Inclusion Regional Group was created. This group is now engaging dozens of regions across Europe. Led by a small steering group, the SIRG has established thematic working groups that will organize events and contribute to a joint best-practice and recommendations guide that will be published at the end of the year.

One of these thematic working groups is dealing with INCLUSIVE LABOUR MARKETS. As the Strategic Framework Document for this European Year states, promoting labour markets for inclusion and eradicating the disavantages in the field of education and training are some of the priority areas in which to carry out the objectives of the European Year 2010.

These priorities are set in the context of a changing global society and a global economic crisis period which, triggered in late 2008, has furthermore aggravated the unemployment problem, both what regards labour market access and permanence in it. Therefore, the organizers believed that it is crucial for regional and local authorities, especially at the present moment, to share their experiences and best practices in promoting inclusive labour markets and tackling long term unemployment. The conference brought together experts from authorities, organizations and institutions at European, regional and local level to discuss different measures and initiatives, such as the promotion of inclusive labour markets through the re-skilling of workers, anti-crisis measures for job creation, and community coaches for the inclusion of people who are almost out of the labour market.

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