Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Active Inclusion and Challenges for Local Welfare Governance

Edited by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice

A central goal of European activation policies is to integrate social and employment policies into a coherent active inclusion approach that fosters social cohesion and enhances the employment chances of vulnerable groups. This requires a reorganisation of social and employment services especially at the local level. On the basis of empirical studies of six European welfare states, this book explores how different institutional contexts influence localised service delivery and how local actors deal with the associated coordination challenges.

Chapter 4: Activation policy in a fragmented welfare system: the case of Poland

Sławomir Mandes

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, welfare states


In Chapter 4 on Poland, Sławomir Mandes casts a new light on the ongoing debate on the local governance of activation in Poland. Departing from a detailed overview of the Polish employment and social assistance system, Mandes presents case studies of three Polish cities, and discusses why a local coordination of employment and social policies is difficult owing to a hierarchical governance tradition, a lack of inter-ministerial collaboration at the national level and local governments’ strong sense of autonomy. Even funding from the European Social Fund is seen by Mandes as creating only temporary platforms for multidimensional and multi-stakeholder service coordination at the Polish local level. Mandes’s chapter concludes with a discussion of resource scarcity as a factor inhibiting the provision of individualized services to vulnerable groups of the unemployed at street level.

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