Annual Meeting 2013: Shifting Roles of Regional and Local Labour Market Observatories Across Europe?
Over the years, regional and local labour market observatories have provided reliable and targeted labour market information and intelligence for regional and local decision-makers. Recent developments show that they are increasingly expected to fulfil tasks beyond mere data provision and analysis. Hence, they are emerging as interpreters, evaluators and mediators in regional and local governance and development efforts. Their participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation processes creates spaces for new alliances, co-operations and networks. However, the observatories often lack essential resources for fulfilling their complex new tasks. Stable sources of financing and employees with a solid and up-to-date skills base are essential for regional and local observatories to meet the new requirements. However, acknowledgement of their contribution to regional and local governance and development processes as well as adequate opportunities for exchange with different actors across Europe are equally important. The Annual Meeting of the EN RLMM explored, how the changing framework conditions affected the functions of regional and local labour market observatories, to what extent shifts in their roles took place, which patterns of changes could be observed across different European countries, how stable the new arrangements were and where the observatories needed support.