Our projects

Employment, activity, equality, citizenship - development for all

The Thematic Unit on Employment, Entrepreneurship and Inclusion Unit facilitates co-creation of policies and practices at European, national, regional and local levels, promoting social inclusion, employment opportunities, and inclusive entrepreneurship. We develop projects to collect, design, test and assess practices and policies from all levels, highlighting successful approaches that can trigger positive change. The Unit provides capacity building, mutual and peer-learning among different actors, aiding international organisations, above all the EU institutions, in understanding local policies and trends.

Established in the context of ELISE, the European network for the exchange of information on local employment, AEIDL is regularly involved in programmes, projects or missions involving, either directly or indirectly, employment, start-ups, socio-occupational integration, equal opportunities and citizenship.

Business start-ups in an urban or rural setting, the adaptation or development of business activities, the spreading of new technologies or new forms of work organisation, and interventions in support of young people, women, immigrants and other vulnerable groups are all topics with which the AEIDL team are familiar.

At the same time, AEIDL is also regularly involved in projects that aim to bring the concept of Europe closer to its citizens, encouraging interaction between citizens and civil society organisations and promoting dialogue between cultures.

  • Financing: European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
  • Duration: 2020-2021

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has recently awarded a contract to AEIDL to raise awareness and build capacity of institutions and public buyers on how to use public procurement while promoting gender equality.

Promoting gender equality is one of the objectives of the EU: it ranges from fostering equal economic independence for women and men, closing the gender pay gap, advancing gender balance in decision making, ending gender-based violence and promoting gender equality beyond the EU.

The Gender-Responsive Public Procurement (GRPP) project awarded to AEIDL will last one year and have the following tasks:

  • Map, identify, select and develop good practice cases of GRPP in the EU;
  • Detect obstacles in strengthening gender mainstreaming in public procurement processes, and develop recommendations to overcome those obstacles;
  • Develop a practical toolkit to raise public buyers’ capacity to implement GRPP step by step;
  • Test the toolkit in the frame of a 1-day competence development meeting with a sample of EIGE’s staff, EU and national public buyers and relevant stakeholders;
  • Develop some communication products to present the findings of the project to a broad audience.
logo epic
  • Financing: Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)
  • Duration: 2020-2021

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The European Platform of Integrating Cities (EPIC) is a 3-year project, which aims to improve migrants integration at local level by creating a European network of local authorities (LAs) and their implementing partners (NGOs).

EPIC will (1) share knowledge and best practices of migrants’ integration, (2) engage in peer-to-peer exchanges based on common priorities and different expertise, (3) implement efficient integration practices within local territories, and (4) develop capacities to counter the negative narratives on migration.

LAs and NGOs of the EPIC project will affect a more efficient management of migrants’ integration thanks to a permanent and sustainable EU-wide network for the exchange of best practices on migrants’ integration beyond the EPIC project.

During the 3-year project, EPIC will carry out the following activities:

RESEARCH about migrants’ integration services in each territory of the project through surveys, interviews, focus groups and desk-based research

CAPACITY BUILDING to ensure the transfer of expertise on integration practices among LAs and NGOs via ‘Job Shadowing’ activities

8 PILOTS PROJECTS to face the concrete needs of each LA by testing new integration services at local level 

NETWORKING AND POLICY HARMONIZATION to foster dialogue among key stakeholders at local and EU level, favouring the emergence of joint policies

ACTIVITIES ON NARRATIVES to manage information and news on migration and develop counter-narratives campaigns

Lead by the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), the EPIC project involves partners coming from 10 countries: Belgium (Brussels), Croatia (Sisak), France (Strasbourg), Germany (Oberhausen), Greece (Ioannina and Thessaloniki), Italy (Brescia and Sardinia Region), Poland (Gdansk), Portugal (Lisbon), Spain (Alcorcon), and the United Kingdom (London).  

AEIDL is a cross-cutting partner in charge of the communication and dissemination strategy and plan of the project, which includes the launching of local campaigns to defeat wrong stereotypes and misconceptions about migrants, organisation of thematic webinars, or developing knowledge-based visual materials such as videos, the project platform or infographics among other activities.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
  • Partners: AEIDL and 11 other organisations across Europe
  • Duration: From July 2016

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Social Innovation Community (SIC) is a "network of networks" that builds on the work of Social Innovation Europe.

The network is financed by the European Commission (Horizon 2020) and managed by a consortium of 12 organisations across Europe, including AEIDL. It aims to reinforce and link the existing social innovation networks around the following themes: innovation in the public sector, digital social innovation, social economy, cities and regional development, collaborative economy, inclusive development and social innovation in the entrepreneurial sphere, and transversal social innovation areas.


#WeBuySocialEU is a project commissioned by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) and the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) to promote the use of social considerations in public procurement procedures. AEIDL is partnering with ICLEI.

The project has two main objectives:

The publication "Making socially responsible public procurement work – 71 good practice cases" is available here. 71 cases from 27 countries are presented in this collection, from 22 Member States plus 5 non-EU countries. As the application of SRPP varies across Member States, the cases range from entry-level/beginner level, through to intermediate and advanced. They address a diverse selection of products and services, as well as encompassing all aspects and phases of public procurement (including the pre and post-tendering phases) and a broad range of public buyers, ranging from local governments to central purchasing bodies and hospitals.

Sectors covered by this collection include: cleaning services; construction; food and catering services; furniture; gardening services; healthcare; information and communication technology; social services; textiles; plus transport, mobility and waste. You can read the individual fiches of the case studies, divided by sector, here.

A document answering 15 Frequently asked questions on socially responsible public procurement was published in January 2021 on the European Commission website and is available for download here.

Four fully animated videos were created in English and French for the #WeBuySocialEU campaign. The videos are available on DG Grow’s YouTube channel. Click on the language of your preference to watch them:

  • Video 1 on a reserved tender for social enterprises in the food and catering sector in France: English – French

  • Video 2 on the use of the procurement of textiles to improve labour conditions in the textiles supply chain in Czechia: English - French

  • Video 3 on the contribution of SRPP to gender equality in Spain: English - French

  • Video 4 features Rotterdam and #Rzgów #WeBuySocialEU cases: English 

Four other animations were also designed for the campaign to be published on social media:

  • Animation 1: the entry points for social economy enterprises to participate in procurement procedures
  • Animation 2: the combination of social and environmental criteria for the acquisition of soup for the most deprived in Belgium
  • Animation 3: the use of social clauses and reserved contracts for cleaning services of buildings of the European Commission
  • Animation 4: the policies and actions to promote gender equality through public procurement by the city of Vienna

On 23 February, AEIDL co-organised a webinar with Social Economy Europe focusing on how social economy enterprises could benefit from public procurement. The recorded webinar is available on AEIDL's Facebook page here.

Follow #WeBuySocialEU on social media to stay tuned! For more information, please contact Valentina Caimi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Financing: Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)
  • Partners: 15 local organisations from 12 EU Member States and 5 EU-level partners
  • Duration: 2019-2022

AEIDL coordinates the cooperation between 15 partner organisations involved in MAX (Maximizing Migrants’ Contribution to Society), a European project that aims at changing public attitudes to migrants not only by seeking to convince rationally on the basis of facts and figures, but also acting on emotion through personal stories and face-to-face encounters between local citizens and newcomers.

Funded through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), MAX is bringing together 20 partners, that is 15 local organisations from 12 EU Member States (BE, CZ, DE, EE, EL, ES, FR, SI, IT, NL, PL and SE) and five EU-level partners, with the aim of strengthening - with innovative means and techniques - the existing fabric of networks and parties involved in providing a fairer and more accurate portrayal of migrants, focusing on the contribution they make to society, and providing the tools and guidelines to do so, in a flexible manner that can change over time according to needs.

AEIDL will lead and support its 15 local partner organisations to foster links between migrants and local citizens through models of local fora. Those are grassroots activities connecting third-countries nationals, local residents, public administration, organisations involved in migrant integration, local newspapers, and other stakeholders, to work on overcoming stereotypes and misconceptions and to analyse the evidence-based findings on the positive contribution of migrants to society in the European Union.

An award will be organised that will celebrate achievements by migrants and local citizens in various fields.

Research into the triggers of public opinion shifting in relations to migration, and the development of a frame for journalist training on solutions journalism in relations to reporting on migration will be two of the main axes of this initiative.

The project will be geared towards designing and implementing sustainable processes and tools, inspired by the concepts of social innovation and solutions journalism.