The ongoing debate about the future of Europe's social model has pinpointed the need to implement reforms to meet the major challenges confronting Europe's social protection systems and social inclusion policies. To make the common appro
Working together, working better: A new framework for the open coordination of social protection and inclusion policies in the European Union : communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
Brussels, 22.12.2005
COM(2005) 706 final

As part of the Lisbon process, the EU has in recent years worked on the basis of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) to promote cooperation and learning among Member States. This is a flexible method, where Member States agree on common objectives and indicators in order to measure progress, without calling into question the distinct roles of the EU and its Member States.

Today, there are three separate processes on social inclusion, pensions and health and long-term care. The Commission proposal is to streamline the work into one overall process. The aim is to make the OMC more effective and give it a higher profile. Streamlining will bring together the three strands of work, but allow the specific features which are important to each policy area to develop further. New integrated common objectives will continue to allow an in-depth focus in each policy field. The proposal comprises overarching objectives plus three groups of objectives specific to each policy area.

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