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Inequalities in the EU and their consequences for democracy, social cohesion and inclusion

The unity of the countries of the European Union increases every year. The law on Common Market has its aim of the increase of the economic efficiency of the countries of the Union. It is already proved, that its political and social effectiveness depends on the ability to fairly split the advantages and income among the countries and regions. As the result, big budgets are given for the regional policy and for the actions needed to reach the equality of the level of development and life of the regions.

On the pan-European level, there is no clear target of the regional politics. It is denoted in general terms. The Amsterdam Agreement states that the aim of the society is to decrease the inequalities of the development of the regions of all the levels and to overcome the backwardness of the least developed territories and islands. The regional policies often have a target of the decrease of the gap between the rich and the poor. In such a case, the equality of the development of the regions is considered to be an indispensable condition for the social equality. The money which is allocated in the sphere of the social policy (e.g. unemployment benefits, social support, etc.) is not enough to overcome the gap between the rich and the poor.

For the moment, the pan-European regional policy is not efficient as it cannot solve the problem of inequality. Due to some structural and institutional factors the rich regions haven’t managed to use their competitive advantages, unlike the rich ones. The regional policy in Europe doesn’t take into account the fact that richer countries can easier split their national wealth. The interference of the government into the economy should be based either on the criteria of fairness or efficiency.

Bertelsmann Fund has published its analytic report in which it speaks about rich north and poor south of the European Union. They have developed the index of social fairness basing on 35 criteria. The Fund considers that the huge gap between the south and the north of the EU can become the reason of the collapse of the EU. This issue becomes even more crucial in the times of the economic crisis. For the moment, 25% of the young people are under the threat of poverty in the European Union. If the tendency remains the same, it will lead to constant riots and deep dissatisfaction of the European citizens that it may result in the breakdown of the EU.

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