The EU Cohesion Policy: The Social Dimensions of Cohesion Policy workshop, an iniciative promoted by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy (CPnet) and scheduled for April 20 and 21st is now postponed.

The date has yet to be defined due to the current coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19).
The decision was taken as a result of the recommendations made by the Portuguese Government, as expressed in Article 4 (also b) of Order 2836-A/2020, available here.

The Centre of Geographical Studies, at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT) at the University of Lisbon, is the host of this workshop.

The main aim of EU cohesion policy is to deliver economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Arguably, since the financial crisis and ensuing recession the EU has prioritised jobs and growth over social cohesion. Now, as the economic conditions improved after the economic crisis with returning economic growth and reducing unemployment levels in many member states, it is important to re-examine the social dimension of EU cohesion policy. Despite falling unemployment, 118 million EU citizens remain at risk of poverty and social exclusion (European Commission, 2017). An objective of EU 2020 strategy is to reduce the number at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 20 million. This target remains some way off and progress on the social dimension appears to be lagging the economic objectives. Similarly, the social issues appear to be widening within the member states, with significant regional and territorial variances, and new challenges are paving the way for an extension of the scope of action of EU cohesion policy (e.g. migration, youth unemployment, poverty).
This research workshop will examine the social dimensions of EU cohesion policy by focusing on, and providing fresh thinking about:

  • the policy dynamics of the social inclusion objective
  • the economic implications of the social dimension
  • impact on territorial cohesion – social changes within and between regions, and places
  • the Social Pillar and the social implications of proposed changes to cohesion policy post 2020, notably ESF+, of the new EU Green Deal and of the new Just Transition Mechanism
  • future progress toward Europe 2020 targets.