Rebuilding an Inclusive, Value-based Europe of Solidarity and Trust through Social Investments
In 2013, as a response to rising inequalities, poverty and distrust in the EU, the Commission launched a major endeavor to rebalance economic and social policies with the Social Investment Package (SIP). RE-invest aims to strengthen the philosophical, institutional and empirical underpinnings of the SIP, based on social investment in human rights and capabilities. This translates into the following specific objectives:
- Development of innovative methodological tools for participative research, involving mixed teams of researchers, NGO workers and people from vulnerable groups in the co-construction of knowledge on social policy issues;
- Diagnosis of the social damage of the crisis in terms of (erosion of) human rights, social (dis)investment, loss of (collective) capabilities;
- Analysis of the relationships between the rise of poverty and social exclusion, the decline of social cohesion and trust, and the threats to democracy and solidarity in the EU;
- Development of a theoretical model of social investment, with a focus on the promotion of human rights and capabilities;
- Application of this model to active labor market policies and social protection: evaluation of policy innovations through qualitative and quantitative analyses;
- Application of the same model to public intervention in five selected basic service markets: water provision, housing, early childhood education, health care and financial services, through qualitative and quantitative analyses;
- Analysis of the macro-level boundary conditions for successful implementation of the SIP.
The RE-InVEST consortium consists of 19 partners from 12 European countries. It brings together experts from different disciplines in the scientific, practice and policy spheres. They complement each other with their research and practical expertise. The research is situated at the crossroads between economics, sociology, social policy and political science as well as in the practices of CSOs and trade unions. The researchers are experts in these disciplines and are also committed to collaborate with vulnerable people. The team has expertise in qualitative/participatory as well as quantitative analytical methods.