Combating Poverty in Europe
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Combating Poverty in Europe

Active Inclusion in a Multi-Level and Multi-Actor Context

Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

Discovering methods to combat poverty and social exclusion has now become a major political challenge in Europe. This book offers an original and timely analysis of how actors at the European, national and subnational levels meet this challenge. Combining perspectives on multilevel and network coordination, the editors discuss to what extent actors join forces in these efforts and identify the factors limiting the coordination achieved in practice. The book builds on a European study comparing Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
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Chapter 8: Approaches, actors and models of vertical collaborative governance arrangements in combating poverty – five European cities compared

Max Koch and Alexandru Panican


In the early days of the 2008 economic crisis, the European Union (EU) introduced its Active Inclusion strategy. The EU made a plea for a new form of policy coordination that was to be implemented at national and local levels to better combat the ‘persistence of poverty and joblessness and the growing complexities of multiple disadvantages’ (EC, 2008). Each member state was to develop policies with regard to three pivotal policy areas: income support; inclusive labour markets, and access to quality services. A few years later, however, a network of independent experts concluded that coordination across ministries, agencies and the various policy areas was weak in a large number of member states. Implementation ‘across the three strands of the active inclusion strategy to effectively address the multifaceted causes of poverty and social exclusion and to enhance coordination between public agencies and services . . . has been quite limited’ (Frazer and Marlier, 2013, p. 27).

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