Is it fair? How social cohesion in Europe can be strengthened

Research suggests that, although levels of social cohesion are generally stable in the EU, especially in economically richer countries, an increasing number of people feel left behind and worry about their place in society. [Artens / Shutterstock]

The prosperity gap in Europe is widening. Despite the general upswing since the economic crisis in 2008, an increasing number of European citizens are at risk of poverty. At the same time, globalisation and digitisation are changing almost every aspect of our lives.

Although research shows that social cohesion in the EU is relatively stable – particularly in economically prosperous countries – a greater number of people feel left behind and concerned about their place in society, with more people turning towards populism, nationalism and anti-immigrant movements.

At the Young Europeans’ Forum 2019, organised by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Aladin Project in cooperation with UNESCO, young people from all over Europe discussed how we can shape a peaceful, open and supportive life in diversity.

Participants discussed the following: What holds a diverse society together? How can we use immigration and the increasing diversification of our cultures to strengthen social cohesion? What are our common values? And what is the role of citizens who are socially involved?

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