About the Programme
Exchanging good practice and experience is one of the core objectives of the European Employment Strategy (EES). The Mutual Learning Programme helps the Member States to learn from each others' experiences and enhances the transferability of good practice. While sharing common objectives and targets, Member States nevertheless take different policy approaches and choices. A deeper understanding of the conditions for successful policy implementation with proven results is sought through conducting evidence-based reviews of good practice in other Member States. This facilitates the assessment of whether and how good practices can be effectively transferred to other Member States. The Mutual Learning Programme focuses on specific relevant labour market themes which are treated in the framework of three strands of activities:
- Twice-yearly EU-wide 'Thematic Review Seminars' on key challenges or policy priorities
- 'Peer Review' in individual Member States, focusing on specific policies and measures within the broad policy priority
- Dissemination Activities - Call for Proposals to involve a broader group of national stakeholders and further the co-operation and exchange of good practices between Member States
The recently launched Europe 2020 strategy aims to make Europe emerge stronger from the crisis, by turning its economy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth during the next decade. In line with the Europe 2020 strategy, the EES seeks to create more and better jobs throughout the EU. To reach these objectives, the EES encourages measures to meet three headline targets by 2020:
- 75% of people aged 20-64 in work
- school drop-out rates below 10%, and at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
- at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
New integrated guidelines addressing employment and broad economic issues underpinning the Europe 2020 strategy were adopted in October 2010, four of them focussing specifically on employment policies:
- Increasing labour market participation of women and men, reducing structural unemployment and promoting job quality;
- Developing a skilled workforce responding to labour market needs and promoting lifelong learning;
- Improving the quality and performance of education and training systems at all levels and increasing participation in tertiary or equivalent education;
- Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty.
A new feature of the Europe 2020 strategy is that its three pillars (smart, sustainable and inclusive growth) will be supported by a series of flagship initiatives. Among these, a number are linked to the field of employment and social policies (Youth on the move; An agenda for new skills and jobs and a European platform against poverty and social exclusion).
The main responsibility to achieve the goals of Europe 2020 will also rest with Member States, and therefore there will be important scope for mutual learning to support this process. The MLP will support the continuous exchange of good practice between Member States in the remit of the different flagships - in particular, the ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’ which covers a range of issues in the framework of the European Employment Strategy. Peer Reviews as well as Thematic Review Seminars can contribute to the transferability of the most efficient policy practices by building a pool of good practice that Member States can draw upon. In addition, Thematic Review Seminars could also serve as a forum to discuss and review progress in the implementation of the employment aspects of Europe 2020 strategy, its flagships and underpinning guidelines, as was the case in the previous Lisbon cycle.