Sonntag, 16.12.2018 14:52 Uhr

EU cohesion policy

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 02.03.2018, 14:20 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 6484x gelesen

Rome [ENA] Social and fiscal convergence contribute to the cohesion objective of the European Union. Divergent practices in this area are liable to cause further problems for territories most vulnerable to globalization. It’s an important point to pay particular attention to the relationship between the cohesion policy and the most geographically and demographically disadvantaged areas, suffering from severe and permanent

natural or demographic handicaps, such as islands and mountain regions. There were 118,8 million people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (abbreviated as AROPE), 1,7 million above the 2008 level and far from the Europe 2020 Strategy target of reducing AROPE by 20 million, with wide disparities between Member States ranging from 5% or less in the Czech Republic or Germany to around 20 % in Greece and Spain. Children AROPE rate (0-17) in 2016 is 26,4%, higher than 24,2% of adult people (16-64) and higher than AROPE rate of 18,3% for elder people (65+).

The number of children experiencing poverty remains alarmingly high in Europe, currently standing at more than 25 million and whereas the impact of poverty on children can last a lifetime and perpetuates the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. It’s more and more vital for the future of the European Union to carry out a sound reflection on the EU cohesion policy on the EU's social objectives. Despite the increased efforts of the EU to align cohesion policy with social objectives, strong socio-economic disparities still remain across Europe and new geographical divides are appearing across the EU, accelerated by the economic crisis.

Eurostat estimates that 17.978 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 14.153 million in the Euro area, were unemployed in December 2017; whereas the employment recovery rate remains very unequal across Member States to the benefit of those countries which have not adopted the single currency or have not been subject to deep European structural reforms. From 2002 to 2016 the number of part-time workers aged between 20 and 64 in the EU-28 rose slowly but steadily from 14.9% to 18.9%.Unemployment and youth unemployment in the Union have been falling gradually since 2013, but are still above 2008 levels, with substantial differences among and within the Member States especially in the EU member states most affected by the financial crisis.

Although regional disparities have started to narrow the diverge on unemployment rates is still relevant, ranging from around 4% in Germany to almost 20% in Spain and 23.6% in Greece. Hidden unemployment was at 20% in 2016 (unemployed, willing to work but not actively searching for employment), and long-term unemployment remains, sharing above 50% of total unemployment in some Member States and represents 45,6% in the EU . Unemployment rate only tracks individuals who do not have a job and have actively looked for work in the last 4 weeks and long term unemployment rate only measures the share of the economically active population aged 15 to 74 who has been unemployed for 12 months or more in the current financial period.

In this scenario cohesion policy is believed to help support 1.1 million SMEs, 7.4 million unemployed people find a job, 8.9 million people gain new qualifications, invest €16 billion in the digital economy and make substantial investments in social infrastructure. Employment rates diverge extensively, ranging from much below the EU average of 65% in Greece, Croatia, Italy and Spain, to higher than 75% in the Netherlands, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. Employment measured in terms of hours worked per employee remains 3% below the pre-crisis level in the EU and 4% in the Euro Area due to increases in part-time work and reductions in the hours worked by full-time employees. Young people are more often employed

under non-standard and atypical forms of employment, including temporary jobs, involuntary part-time work and so on. Regional disparities are a consequence of economic, financial and cultural centralization, and only an effective and fair rent redistribution policy will solve it. In this regard, new criteria for the allocation of funds could be considered such as unemployment and social inclusion to better integrate cohesion policy with current areas identified for EU action. More efficient and flexible implementation of the funds will be crucial in the new Multiannual Financial Framework period.

At the moment the job creation potential of Union funds is still insufficient and should therefore be further strengthened, also because it is still insufficiently leveraged, through more efficient and results-based policy-making and implementation. The job creation ought to focus in particular on future-oriented sectors with a net quality job creation potential, in particular the green and circular economy, care sector and digital sector. Furthermore access to funding should be eased for all beneficiaries, especially social economy actors and SMEs.

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