European Social Policy Network – ESPN

Commissioned by: European Commission (winning consortium CEPS/INSEAD) 
Project duration: September 1, 2014 – August 31, 2017
Project manager: Paul Stubbs, PhD

Brief outline: 
The European Social Policy Network provides assessments of European and national social policies and fosters a debate on innovative policy solutions within the Open Method of Co-Ordination and the Social Investment approach. The Network assists the European Commission in the formulation of evidence-based policies. It contributes to the assessment of National Reform Programmes and National Social Reports. The Network includes experts on social inclusion, health and long-term care, and pensions from the 28 Member States and 7 non-EU countries (Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey). 

The annual tasks to be performed by ESPN experts are as follows: 
  • 3 Thematic reports on themes decided by the European Commission;
  • 1 NRP/NSR assessment report (consisting of a pre- and post-assessment);
  • 1 Country profile (to be updated regularly, i.e. up to 4 times a year);
  • Flash reports on issues of concern;
  • Regular inputs into the Social Investment Policy Knowledge Bank;
  • Ad hoc requests.