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Laps and Raps (Local Action Plans/ Regional Action Plans)

Project introduction
Peer Review Workshops
Key documents/links

Project Management (PM)
PM Forms and Documents
On-line Good Practise Exchange
Local Development Groups


Project Introduction


In its Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion the European Commission identified six priority issues for tackling poverty and social exclusion, as reflected in the policy approaches being adopted by Member States.

The Laps and Raps project seeks to address these six priority issues for NAPS by developing a common methodology for the development of Local and Regional Action plans for social inclusion which would focus on these policy themes. The need for a such a tool is reflected in a number of key contextual factors:

Firstly, the need for such a tool is evident in light of the evaluations of the first two rounds of Naps. The overarching policy challenge that emerges is the need for Member States to ensure that there is a strong vertical and horizontal integration of economic, employment, lifelong learning, cultural, housing, health (including safety) and social policies and that a concern with preventing and eradicating poverty and social exclusion is mainstreamed across all these policy areas. Such a functional mix is essential if an integrated and co-ordinated approach to eradicating poverty and social exclusion is to be achieved.

Secondly, too often the mainstream programmes and initiatives of various levels of government have different goals, budgets and timetables, and are targeted towards different geographical areas. Additionally, policy measures may have unintended consequences. Sometimes, measures intended to solve certain problems work against each other or create barriers to action at lower governmental levels. The result is fragmentation of effort, reducing the potential impact of programmes and resources. Better vertical integration is required.

Thirdly, at a horizontal level, cities, towns and regions face the challenge of co-ordinating action across very different policy field such as local employment, education and training, housing, environment, planning, transport, health, welfare and finance. Functional segregation and traditional departmental specialisations often lead to ineffective and inefficient responses. New management approaches are needed for tackling the multi-dimensional and interconnected problems which cities, towns and regions increasingly have to deal with.

Finally and relatedly, the need is reflected in the fact that despite the centrality of the issue of social exclusion in terms of policy, the role of cities, towns and regions in the development of National Action plans for Social Inclusion (NAPs) has been ad hoc and somewhat marginal.


 Policy priorities identified for NAPs

The partnership seeks to address the six policy priority issues identified for NAPs which are:

1. promoting investment in and tailoring of active labour market measures to meet the needs of those who have the greatest difficulties in accessing employment;

2. ensuring that social protection schemes are adequate and accessible for all and that they provide effective work incentives for those who can work;

3. increasing the access of the most vulnerable and those most at risk of social exclusion to decent housing, quality health and lifelong learning opportunities;

4.implementing a concerted effort to prevent early school leaving and to promote smooth transition from school to work;

5. developing a focus on eliminating poverty and social exclusion among children;

6. making a drive to reduce poverty and social exclusion of immigrants and ethnic minorities.



The overall aim of this proposal is to develop a framework and methodology for the creation of Local Action Plans (Laps) or Regional Action Plans (Raps) for Social Inclusion which will enable the more effective integration of area-based approaches with wider conurbation or regional and national-level strategies.

In order to achieve this overall aim this proposal has the following objectives:

  • to develop and undertake four transnational peer review and development workshops.
  • to develop an online good practice exchange and development forum, which would bring together access to resources, case studies connections with practioners and policy officers for developing local, regional and National plans
  • to assist local partners to develop/ improve local or regional plans for social inclusion


Expected results

  • a Peer Review Exchange And Development Programme that would involve 120 participants. Each workshop would bring together a delegation of 3 participants from Local Development Group established by each partner.
  • the production of a Framework And Methodology Guide for developing local and regional action plans for social inclusion.
  • an Online Good Practice Exchange And Development Forum, which would bring together access to resources, case studies connections with practioners and policy officers.



Key documents

Laps and Raps project documents:

Final project report

Complete versions: English, Czech, Slovenian,

Short versions:
Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

Framework for Laps/Raps, Peter Ramsden, Freiss Ltd, (Revised version following the Lisbon Peer Review Exchange Workshop)

A framework for Local/ Regional Action Plans for Social Inclusion , Peter Ramsden, Freiss Ltd.

Summaries in:Czech, Greek, English, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Spanish

Regional Action Plan of Inclusion of the Algarve 2007-2009: in Portuguese, English

Interim report year one: on-line report or PDF file

Key documents and reports:

Joint Report On Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2007
The European Commission has adopted a EU Joint Report on Social Inclusion and Social Protection (19.1.2007). This edition of the Joint Report draws on the National Reports on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion which the Member States have recently submitted. The aim is for the key messages emerging from the report to drive policy efforts in the areas of social protection and social inclusion over the next couple of years in EU-27.
Read report in English, French, Spanish, Italian

Joint Report On Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2005
English French Italian Greek Spanish Portuguese

National Action Plans

National Action Plans on Social Inclusion 2006-2008
The new round of National Action Plans on Social Inclusion of the EU Member States have now been published and can be accessed on the European Commissions Social Inclusion website. You will also be able to download the implementation reports of the previous round of NAPs/inclusion.

Reports on National Action Plans on Social Inclusion 2003-2005

The 15 Member States who submitted their National Action Plans 2003-2005 have prepared reports on the implementation and impact of these plans together with an update on action proposed for the period 2005-2006.

National Action Plans on Social Inclusion 2004 - 2006
The ten new Member States submitted their first National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion (NAPs/inclusion) in July 2004 in response to the common objectives that have been agreed by Member States for the Union's social inclusion process.

The European Commission has published a EU Joint Report on Social Inclusion and Social Protection (27.1.2005).The report is an important tool in the coordination of Member States' policies on social inclusion and social protection and will go to the EU Spring Summit of Heads of State and Government as an input into their discussions on the Lisbon Strategy for boosting growth and employment.

Lisbon Strategy
In March 2000, the European Council in Lisbon set out a ten-year strategy to make the EU the world's most dynamic and competitive economy. Under the strategy, a stronger economy will drive job creation alongside social and environmental policies that ensure sustainable development and social inclusion.

Social Protection Committee
The Social Protection Committee (SPC) was established in 2000 in order the serve as a vehicle for cooperative exchange between the European Commission and the Member States of the EU about modernising and improving social protection systems.

Joint Memoranda on Social Inclusion; these outline the situation and policy priorities in relation to poverty and social exclusion in the acceding countries. They were signed by the Commission and national authorities in December 2003.

Social Network Programme -

High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME)' Activity Report 2002-2005 available in English

ACIME' Immigration Observatory Publications available in Portuguese at

Thesis Collection - Thesis and dissertations on Immigration and Ethnic Minorities - published by ACIME, Portugal, available in Portuguese

Common Objectives and Open Method of Coordination (OMC)

The European Council of Lisbon agreed on the need to take steps to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty by 2010. It has also agreed that ember States' policies for combating social exclusion should be based on an open method of co-ordination combining common objectives, National Action Plans( see above) and a Programme presented by the Commission to encourage co-operation in this field. The Nice European Council (Dec. 2000) adopted the first set of common objectives.

The Open Method of Coordination is a voluntary process that all Member States have committed themselves to pursuing in the context of the Lisbon Strategy. This method can be a way of creating greater visibility, encouraging a strategic and integrated approach, mainstreaming the issue of poverty and social exclusion, mobilising all relevant actors and finally to encourage mutual earning.

The OMC is supported by a Community Action Programme (2002-2006) to encourage cooperation in fighting social exclusion, which provides funding to a wide range of activities.


Useful publications and weblinks:


 This project is financed by the European Commission through the Community Action Programme to Combat Social Exclusion 2002-2006, Transnational Exchange Programme