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EAPN welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the draft Commission proposal on Guidelines for preparing the National Reports on social protection and social inclusion. These Guidelines are an indispensable accompanying document to the publication of the communication on the streamlined OMC on social protection and social inclusion which gives the orientation to the revised Open Method of Coordination on Social Protection and Social Inclusion to be adopted at the 10 March EPSCO meeting.
Although a technical and supporting document, these guidelines are pivotal in defining the mechanisms and scope of Member States’ contribution to delivering an effective OMC on social protection and social inclusion. They need to remain ambitious in defining a clear framework for promoting the European added value of this process. The onus will then be on Member States to deliver on a strategy which is potentially the strongest tool in the hands of the EU to deliver on its objective of greater social cohesion. The Guidelines will also be an important reference document to support active stakeholder involvement in the process.