Civil society actors from six European countries present their policy brief on Social Cohesion in Europe. The Thinking Lab developed seven main policy recommendations in four key areas.
Social cohesion is indispensable for the sense of community between the EU member states, but also within the EU member states. This does not only refer to economic factors, but also to social factors such as social participation, especially for migrants and asylum seekers.
Based on this premise, the “Thinking Lab on Social Cohesion” of the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE project delved into the topic of social cohesion in Europe over the course of two and a half years, developing a set of concrete policy recommendations. These recommendations include intergenerational issues of labour market policy and political decision-making as well as the relevance of civic engagement for disadvantaged communities.
Overview of the Policy Brief
The Thinking Lab on Social Cohesion worked under the assumption that social cohesion is an indispensable condition for the continued existence of the European Union. Based on this, the Lab developed recommendations in four key areas: Training, Skills and Opportunities; Labour Market Reform Policies; Cultural and Civic Engagement; and Minority Communities. Among others, one of the key conclusions is that social cohesion – despite the high priority of tackling (youth) unemployment and creating growth opportunities – far exceeds economic factors and particularly encompasses cultural issues.
Policy Recommendations of the Thinking Lab on Social Cohesion:
- Strengthen vocational education and training systems
- Foster communication between students, graduates and businesses
- Create intergenerational working tandems
- Set up a European Business Empowerment Scheme (EBES) to support small enterprises
- Secure intergenerational justice in decision-making
- Financially and logistically support local groups and connect them at the European level
- Increasingly employ people with a migration background in both the public and private sectors
Background: The DIALOGUE ON EUROPE Project
The European Union has been affected by a multi-dimensional crisis for almost a decade. This period has shown that the traditional political responses of international summitry have reached the limits of their impact. The current and upcoming challenges faced by the European project can only be confronted through a strong and connected civil society across the continent.
The trans-European project DIALOGUE ON EUROPE, an initiative by Das Progressive Zentrum supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, took up this idea by bringing together young dedicated civil society actors from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to start a transnational dialogue about Europe’s most pressing challenges.
In four so-called Thinking Labs, young thinkers developed policy recommendations over the course of two and a half years for four main policy fields: Migration & Integration, Populism, Social Cohesion and Sustainable Growth.
The results of this exchange can be found in four policy briefs that aim at stimulating and enriching the debate on the future agenda of the European Union.