National Action Plans against Poverty and Social exclusion (NAPsincl) 2001/03

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National Action Plans against Poverty and Social exclusion (NAPsincl) 2001/03

The National Action Plans against Poverty and Social Exclusion are a fundamental component of the open method of co-ordination as established in the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council. While such plans should allow for the diversity of situations and policy priorities at national level, some degree of coherence is necessary as regards their structure and contents in order to facilitate their use in a process of mutual learning. Particular care should be taken in the first year of implementation, to ensure that the open method of co-ordination runs smoothly, and that it reaches its objectives without creating undue bureaucratic burden while taking into account the national situations and the ongoing nature of the approach.

In order to ensure that Member States' efforts are adequately covered in the joint report, and to facilitate an overview of the NAPincl, a common outline is hereby suggested, on the basis of the political agreement endorsed in Nice.

A set of practical arrangements could also be usefully agreed:

  • The NAPincl should be submitted not later than 1st June 2001 so that the Employment and Social Affairs Council of 11 June may take stock of progress;
  • their size should not exceed 40 pages, plus annexes;
  • in order to speed up the process of preparation of the joint report and to facilitate dissemination across Member States, the NAPincl should be submitted in one of the working languages of the Community, in addition to a version in national language, where justified.


1. Major challenges

The NAPincl should start by giving an overview of the current situation and major trends in each of the fields covered by the four policy objectives agreed by the Nice European Council. This part of the document may draw on the national contributions which were presented by the members of the High Level Group on Employment Affairs and Social Protection in June 2000. This section should be supported by relevant indicators, where appropriate.

2. Strategic approach and main objectives

Within the framework of the Nice objectives and drawing on the analysis of the national situation under section 1, an overall coherent strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion should be presented, setting out the main objectives of the NAPincl for the years July 2001/ June 03. Where appropriate, such objectives should include quantified targets, as well as an indication of the resources to be committed to each main objective. In a concluding part, this section should describe the process which was followed to develop the strategy and prepare the NAPincl and should refer to the issue of involving all relevant actors and to the administrative co-ordination undertaken in preparing the NAPincl, as outlined in paragraph 4 of the Nice objectives.

3. Policy Measures

For each of the four common objectives agreed in Nice, the National Action Plan should set out in detail the policy measures which the Member State intend to implement over the two-year period. A distinction should be established between on-going actions and new initiatives.

In principle, all objectives should be covered; however, Member States may indicate the priority they attach to the different objectives. The presentation of policy measures, following the thematic order set out in the document endorsed in Nice, should allow for an identification of:

  • The concrete objectives being pursued by each measure and its instruments;
  • The time schedule over which the policy measure will be developed (in the case of new initiatives) and/or implemented;
  • The actors (institutional and others) involved in the development, implementation and/or monitoring of each policy measure, the methods used to involve the actors and to bring about administrative co-ordination in order to ensure overall cohesion.

And, where appropriate,

  • Outline the policy indicators and other monitoring mechanisms (e.g. expenditure) being considered for measuring progress in implementing each measure;
  • The groups, territories and/or specific problems addressed by particular policy measures;
  • Highlight innovative elements within policy measures.

While structured by specific policy measures, this section of the National Action Plan could clarify how different policy measures interact between themselves and are co-ordinated when they address the same overall objective.

This section should indicate how the gender dimension has been taken on board in the NAPincl, in particular by assessing the implications for both men and women of the policy actions as described.

In addressing the objectives set out at 1.1 of the Nice objectives regarding "Facilitating participation in employment", this section should reflect closely, as far as possible, the relevant contents of the National Action Plans for Employment

This section should also indicate how the objective of eradicating poverty and fighting social exclusion is mainstreamed into other economic and social policies and in the provision of public services.

4. Indicators

This section should outline outcome indicators or, if this is not possible, other monitoring mechanisms for measuring progress in regard to each of the main objectives set out in the NAPincl. Current plans to improve monitoring systems, together with indicators whose development is envisaged in the future, should also be identified. Where appropriate, and on the basis of the questions raised by the NAPincl, this section could also identify priorities for co-operation at the EU level in regard to the development of comparable indicators.

5. Good practice

This section should contain a detailed presentation of a few examples of good practice drawn from currently implemented policy measures. To the greatest possible extent, such presentation should include any available results of monitoring or evaluation, to support the dissemination of such good practice among other Member States.

Examples of good practice in relation to exploiting the potential of the knowledge-based society and new information and communication technologies would be particularly welcome.

Last modified:05/11/2008

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