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The EQUAL Initiative co-finances activities in 25 Member States. With the total contribution of 3.274 billion EUR (matched by national funding), it represents rather smaller part of the European Social Fund. Nevertheless it`s relevance derives from the Equal spirit of a laboratory, where innovating ideas, on how to combat all sources of discrimination within the labour market, are tested and validated. Two calls for proposals for EQUAL projects in the Member States have taken place so far, the first one in 2001, the second one in 2004. There are 1 987 projects all over the European Union (with the exception of Bulgaria and Romania) co-financed in the actual round.

As the transnational co-operation is one of the key principles of EQUAL, an emphasis is placed on active co-operation between Member States. Whereas so-called National Thematic Groups gathers DP`s and experts on the national level, European Thematic Groups bring together DP`s and experts from different countries.

There are 5 European Thematic Groups (ETG`s):

  • ETG 1 – Employability
  • ETG 2 – Entrepreneurship
  • ETG 3 - Adaptability
  • ETG 4 - Equal opportunities
  • ETG 5 - Asylum seekers

The process of sharing information and mainstreaming the innovative results to the policy and practice is at the heart of EQUAL. At European level this is being done on the basis of a common work programme for mainstreaming at EU level. This work programme is implemented under the aegis of the European Commission through Technical Assistance and in close co-operation with the relevant authorities of the Member States. Different platforms have been and are still being set up, which allow the validation, exploitation and long-lasting dissemination of EQUAL results: peer reviews, exchange events, learning seminars, communities of practice, policy fora.

Two of these platforms were / are organized by the Czech Managing Authority. The transnational EQUAL Evaluation Learning Seminar took place end of November in Prague. The main goals of the seminar were to compare results of the EQUAL evaluations as well as to intensify information exchange and experience in the evaluation of EQUAL principles.

The upcoming transnational project of the Czech EQUAL Managing Authority, the "EQUAL evaluation Community of Inquiry and Practice" (EQUAL eCIP), was also introduced at the seminar. The EQUAL evaluation Community of Inquiry and Practice is running within the Czech online ESF Forum and serves as a support for exchange of experience, information and results among the EQUAL evaluation experts across the whole EU.

More information about these two projects can be found in the article Evaluating EQUAL in Prague.

To learn more about European Equal projects, European Thematic Groups as well as about events organized on the European level visit web pages of the European Commission.

Click here to access the European Equal page.

More information on individual DPs may be found within the EQUAL Common Database (ECDB). This database gathers data originating from the DPs, which have been validated by the National Authorities and transmitted at European level. This data are aimed at:

  • those involved with EQUAL, for networking and for transnational activities;
  • specific observers (political, researchers, etc.)
  • the public who take an interest in employment issues, social integration, combating discrimination and inequality, innovation, etc.

Click here to access the ECDB.

Updated: 5.4.2007 | Author: Equalcr

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