Between 2014 and 2022, the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) supported the European Commission by providing independent information and analysis on social protection and social inclusion policies, thereby contributing to improving social monitoring and fostering the development of evidence-based social policy initiatives at European level. The consortium in charge consisted of the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER, lead contractor), the independent research company Applica, and the European Social Observatory (OSE).
In 2022, the same consortium won the EU call for tenders to establish a successor to the ESPN for the period 2022-2026. The new network – now renamed European Social Policy Analysis Network (ESPAN) – spans 38 countries: the 27 EU countries as well as candidate and potential candidate countries. It continues to provide comparative social policy expertise to the Commission and helps to monitor progress towards the EU social objectives set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights. It also provides ad hoc social policy analysis covering other countries inside and outside Europe. At the heart of the ESPAN are 38 country teams of independent social policy experts, supported and coordinated by a central team of international experts. Within the consortium, the OSE has the lead on social protection issues.
Our consortium also acts as secretariat to the Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC).