The increasing involvement of the social partners in social policy matters, and particularly the area of social inclusion, is the focus of the fifth Foundation paper. It draws mainly on research carried out by the Foundation in the area of social inclusion over the past decade. The paper addresses the need for all players to move beyond traditional structures towards effective interaction at all levels in this complex and multi-dimensional field. Foundation papers aim to highlight knowledge and analysis emanating from the Foundationu0092s research themes: employment, equal opportunities, social inclusion, time use and diversity. The objective of the papers is to make past, present and future work of the Foundation relevant and accessible in a synthesised format. The subject of each paper will be linked to current social policy issues and offers therefore a timely contribution to the debate at European level.