ERIS recently submitted a new bid to the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme SOLID©ITY. The bid proposed examining means of developing innovative, dynamic and cohesive cities with high solidarity, by measuring, analyzing and identifying innovative policies and practices in different European countries.
Living conditions in modern European societies are increasingly characterized by fundamental changes occurring due to the (economic) crisis. Economic uncertainty, job migration and social exclusion are just some of the challenges individuals have to face. This leads to an increasing lack of confidence, trust and solidarity among European citizens and at the same time highlights the urgent need to support European cities so that they can become more resilient and sustainable in order to cope with economic and social crisis. Hence, social protection and inclusion policies are undergoing continuous reform in the light of financial pressures and governance changes. However, while some cities are financially prospering, others have to contend with deep-rooted economic problems and a decline in citizens’ quality of life. How, then, can local authorities measure the ability of a city to tackle crisis, and how can they strategically and actively support and empower cities to do so? What are the most important conditions, and what strategies are successful in handling economic crises and therefore maintaining and enhancing social cohesion and solidarity among citizens?
The SOLID©ITY project group makes it its business to address these challenging questions. The research group behind this project is a consortium of European researchers and practitioners with widespread experience in the fields of social policy, social investment and social security. Within a multidisciplinary and comparative approach the SOLID©ITY group intends to develop and apply an extended theory of "SOLID©ITY" as a conceptual framework wherein the capability of a city to cope with crisis is dependent on the interplay of four main forces – the structural, economic, cultural and social dimensions. Using a data base of 10 European cities, the research aim is to empirically identify, depict and evaluate the most relevant factors and strategies which can help local authorities to improve the ability of a city and its citizens to tackle crisis and thus to support European social integration and cohesion.
Updated: 15. 01. 2018