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Social inclusion and protection of particular groups

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This impact area refers to social inclusion and the protection of particular groups. Equal opportunities for all are a basic tenet of EU policy. A The EU has specific strategies for combating discrimination and for promoting social inclusion.

  • eradication of child poverty
  • ensuring active inclusion of people far from the labour market (combining inclusive labour markets with adequate income and enabling services)
  • ensuring decent housing for everyone; overcoming discrimination and increasing integration
  • tackling financial exclusion
  • ensuring adequate retirement incomes for all and access to pensions which allow people to maintain, to a reasonable degree, their living standard after retirement and that are well adapted to the needs and aspirations of women and men
  • ensuring access for all to health and long-term care, addressing inequities in access to care and health outcomes
  • ensuring quality by adapting care to the changing needs and preferences of society and individuals.

This text is adapted from the "Guidance for assessing Social Impacts within the Commissions Impact Assessment system". It is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents.

This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Access to the Labour Market, Equal Access to Services and Goods, Provision of Public Information, Distributional Impacts.

Relevant Policies

Through the EU Social Protection and Social Inclusion Process (open methods of coordination, OMC), the European Union coordinates and encourages Member State actions to combat poverty and social exclusion, and to reform their social protection systems (pensions, health and long-term care) on the basis of policy exchanges and mutual learning. A key feature of the OMC is the joint analysis and assessment by the European Commission and the Council of the National Reports on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion submitted by the Member States. The Joint Reports assess progress made in the implementation of the OMC, set key priorities and identify good practice and innovative approaches of common interest to the Member States.
Also the Europe 2020 Strategy gives prominence to “inclusive growth” and cohesive society in light of the interdependence of economic, employment and social cohesion policies. To reach the agreed EU headline target of lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty and exclusion by 2020, the flagship initiative “European platform against poverty and social exclusion” is hosted by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents.

Legal Basis for the Commission to Act

As stated in Art 137 EU, the Community shall support and complement the activities of the Member States to combat social exclusion.

Web Resources


Please link to relevant Directorate General Contact Details.

Relevant Terms:

Access to the Labour Market

Equal Access to Services and Goods

Provision of Public Information

Distributional Impacts

Publications and applications

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