Europe 2020 is the EU’s agenda for jobs and growth for the current decade. It emphasizes smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a way to strengthen the EU economy and prepare its structure for the challenges of the next decade. The strategy strives to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion in the Member States while reducing the impact on the natural environment. For ensuring social cohesion, the strategy focuses on combating poverty and social exclusion so as to raise awareness and recognize the fundamental rights of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, enabling them to live in dignity and take an active part in society. To do so, Member States need to: promote shared collective and individual responsibility in combating poverty and social exclusion; define and implement measures addressing the specific circumstances of groups at particular risk (e.g. one parent families, elderly, women, minorities, disabled and homeless); and fully deploy their social security and pension systems to ensure adequate income support and access to health.
The research group will initially focus on inequality and social exclusion with the aim to provide fresh empirical evidence to answer to the following questions: how big are spatial inequalities in Europe, and what has been happening to them? What does explain the levels and trends in spatial inequality? Then, the research group will focus on addressing inequality and social exclusion in specific groups at particular risk.