Date and time
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. Before the COVID19 pandemic, the economic conditions were generally improving after the economic-financial crisis with returning economic growth and reducing unemployment levels in many Member States. Despite falling unemployment, 118 million EU citizens were still at risk of poverty and social exclusion (European Commission, 2017). The COVID-19 pandemic is having tremendous economic impacts, on top of the health problems. In the trade-offs between health and economy, social cohesions risks being left out or marginalised to favour a quick, short-term recovery. An objective of EU 2020 strategy was 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 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- 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 CP post 2020, notably ESF+, of the new EU Green Deal and of the new Just Transition Mechanism,
- future progress toward Europe 2020 targets.
Proposed papers should include the following themes:
- Social inclusion: including migration (immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, but also intra-national migration); integration of vulnerable groups/protected characteristics.
- Gender and equality dimensions: research on the heterogeneous issues including intersectionality (those most at risk of poverty and social exclusion often face multiple barriers) and inter-generational issues – changing challenges facing the EU’s youth and older people.
- Role of social partners in social and territorial integration; including non-profit organisations, community organisations.
- Measuring and delivering social inclusion: including concepts and measures of ‘well-being’ ‘inclusive growth’, quality of life, and the European Social Progress Index, as well as the social impacts of competitiveness in EU regions and the effectiveness of measures addressing poverty and unemployment (incl. youth unemployment).
We invite theoretically rooted, research-based paper proposals from both scholars and practitioners which address the questions listed above. Comparative papers and papers that employ original research designs and methods will be particularly welcome.
We invite you to submit an abstract and presentation.
Proposals should be submitted by email to RSANetworkLisbon2020@gmail.com including:
- an abstract of up to 500 words, summarising the research and clearly outlining its originality and contribution to the scholarly and/or policy debates;
- A short bio of up to 150 words accompanied by full contact details of the Author(s).
Abstracts should be submitted to: RSANetworkLisbon2020@gmail.com
- Deadline for Submission: 21 September 2020
- Acceptance notification: 1st October 2020
- registration final programme: 15 October 2020
Contributions and outputs
Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes to allow room for discussants’ feedback and debate. Speakers are encouraged to use images, diagrams, infographics, etc. in their presentations.
All presentations will take place online and grouped in panels by theme. Each panel will last maximum 2 hours taking place on a different day (25 September and 4 October) and will be organised as follow
- Keynote lecture (about 30 minutes)
- Three Presentations (15’ minutes each)
The keynote lectures will be broadcasted, the parallel session not, but those interested can register and attend for free the online event.
Speakers are warmly invited to send a 1-slide image to be shared on the social media of the research network. This image should be provided 6 days before the workshop (20 October 2020) according to the layout provided by the research network.
An edited volume/eBook or a special issue in a chosen journal will be published following the event. The participation in the workshop does not guarantee the inclusion in the publication. The organising committee will select the best presentations to be retained for publication. Contributors who cannot attend the workshop might be considered as well for the publication.
This workshop will be held under the auspices of the Regional Studies Association’s Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy, co-organised with the Network`s partners and hosted by Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon. More information about the Network can be found on the RSA website and on Facebook.
Main Organisers for this workshop are: Eduarda Marques Da Costa and Pedro Franco (University of Lisbon), as local organisers, and Laura Polverari (University of Padua), Leaza McSorley (University of Sunderland), Marcin Dabrowski (TU Delft), Nicola Francesco Dotti (VUB) and Oto Potluka (University of Basel), as academic convenors.
Participation in the event is free of charge. Participants not presenting papers are very welcome, but will need to register.
To enquire about practical information, please contact Eduarda Marques Da Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org). For any other enquiries please contact: Pedro Franco (email@example.com), Marcin Dabrowski (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nicola Francesco Dotti (Nicola.Dotti@vub.be), Leaza McSorley (email@example.com), Laura Polverari (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Oto Potluka (email@example.com).