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INSPIRES is an acronym which stands for Innovative Social Policies for Inclusive and Resilient Labour Markets in Europe. The project analyzes in-depth the evolution of labour markets, employment and social policies and the qualitative and quantitative position of vulnerable groups on the labour market from 2000 onwards.

INSPIRES specifically focuses on the labour market position of young people (under 25), ethnic minorities and disabled people as the employment figures clearly show that youth unemployment is significantly higher than the average unemployment in all European countries. Also, it shows the differences in the extent to which youth unemployment is affected by the current economic and fiscal crisis. Youth unemployment in countries like Germany and the Netherlands hardly seems to be affected at all, whereas countries like Italy and Greece have observed increases of almost ten percent points. Similar figures may be found for other vulnerable groups on the labour market, including older workers or disabled workers.



Thus, it may be observed that labour markets in some European member states are better equipped to absorb economic shocks than others. The INSPIRES project starts by comparatively assessing the backgrounds of these differences in resilience and inclusiveness of labour markets and employment policies in European countries, and aims to accumulate practice-oriented knowledge on the factors that positively and negatively affect resilience and inclusiveness. It focuses specifically on the contribution of policy learning and innovation for achieving resilient and inclusive labour markets in eleven countries from all European welfare traditions: the Mediterranean, the Eastern-European, the Anglo-Saxon, the Scandinavian and the continental regimes.
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