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The EU framework for social innovation - Between entrepreneurship and policy experimentation


  • Sebastiano Sabato
  • Bart Vanhercke
  • Gert Verschraegen


The aim of this paper is to identify and provide a preliminary assessment of the resources that the EU has made available to promote social innovation over the period 2006-2014, with special focus on poverty and social exclusion policies. Such a focus is relevant insofar as the establishment of a quantitative target concerning poverty and social exclusion has been one of the major novelties introduced by the Europe 2020 Strategy: social innovation has been presented as a key area for facilitating its achievement. In order to identify European Union (EU) resources relevant for social innovation, we have adopted a diachronic approach taking into account two sub-periods: 2006-2010 (the period of the revised Lisbon Strategy) and 2010-2014 (the first stage of the new Europe 2020 Strategy). This has allowed us to shed light on both the varying importance of the issue over time and the evolution of the relevant instruments and processes implemented by the EU. Our analysis also provides insights into the complex and multi-layered European policy architecture for underpinning social innovation.(for more see paper)

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastiano Sabato & Bart Vanhercke & Gert Verschraegen, 2015. "The EU framework for social innovation - Between entrepreneurship and policy experimentation," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/21, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1521

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    Cited by:

    1. Lessa Bastos, B. & Gómez, G.M., 2020. "Social entrepreneurship: pathways to scale," ISS Working Papers - General Series 132629, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    2. Sohel Rana & Lily Kiminami & Shinichi Furuzawa, 2022. "Role of entrepreneurship in regional development in the haor region of Bangladesh: a trajectory equifinality model analysis of local entrepreneurs," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 931-960, October.
    3. Sebastiano Sabato & Gert Verschraegen, 2016. "The usage of EU resources in local social innovation," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/03, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    4. Sanja Franc & Deniza Karadžija, 2019. "Quintuple helix approach: The case of the European Union," Notitia - journal for economic, business and social issues, Notitia Ltd., vol. 1(5), pages 91-100, December.
    5. Madama, Ilaria & Maino, Franca & Razetti, Federico, 2019. "Innovating long-term care policy in Italy from the bottom: confronting the challenge of inclusive local care environments in Lombardy and Piedmont," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 44, pages 125-141.
    6. Gert Verschraegen & Sebastiano Sabato, 2016. "The integration of place-based social innovations into the EU social agenda," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/10, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. Elisa Ravazzoli & Cristina Dalla Torre & Riccardo Da Re & Valentino Marini Govigli & Laura Secco & Elena Górriz-Mifsud & Elena Pisani & Carla Barlagne & Antonio Baselice & Mohammed Bengoumi & Marijke , 2021. "Can Social Innovation Make a Change in European and Mediterranean Marginalized Areas? Social Innovation Impact Assessment in Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, and Rural Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-27, February.

    More about this item


    Social innovation; Europe 2020; poverty and social exclusion; social experimentation; European structural Funds;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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