The purpose of this assignment was to carry out an external study to support the evaluation of the actions taken in response to the Council Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (the Recommendation), as requested by Article 14 of the same Recommendation. The study covers actions undertaken in Members States and by the [European] Commission in response to the Recommendation. It assesses the extent to which the general and specific objectives have been realised, tracking the activities implemented, outputs reached, and results achieved. The evaluation criteria effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value are addressed.
The study provides an assessment of the extent to which the Recommendation contributed to: (1) An increase in coverage – increased registration of long-term unemployed individuals with Public Employment Services in Member States; (2) An improved continuity and coordination between relevant services, including by identifying a single point of contact (SPOC) in charge of coordinating support; (3) An improved effectiveness of interventions towards both long term unemployed and employers. To this end, the Recommendation proposed concrete measures in four main policy areas: (1) coverage of registration; (2) individualised support to long-term unemployed; (3) inter-institutional coordination; and (4) cooperation with employers. The study has assessed whether and how the measures provided in the Recommendation have translated into new policies and practices (or planned changes) in Member States. The study was carried out using a mixed-methods approach, using both qualitative and quantitative data to assess and explore whether the Recommendation led to the expected results and impacts.
The study provides clear evidence of progress and improvements in policy fields related to the Recommendation. This change is stronger for countries which had a less favourable starting position in terms of quality of measures. The expectations outlined in the Staff Working Document accompanying the Recommendation (2015) are in the process of being fulfilled, even though much work remains in Member States to fully implement to proposed measures. Where progress had been limited, or where measures were not prioritised, it was mainly related to contextual factors. The main factor was a lack of financial and human resources in national, regional and local administrations. The speed of implementation has also been influenced by institutional set-up, and the degree of decentralisation in the public employment services.
SOURCE: Ramboll, Erasmus University Social Economic Research Rotterdam & Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies 2019, Study supporting the evaluation of the Council Recommendation on the integration of long-term unemployed into the labour market, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, viewed 02 Aug 2019.
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