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Abstract

Objective: The aim of the present study is to examine whether the European Union budget comprises significant resources for financing measures relating to social cohesion. The analysis is based on the contents of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Given the constraints of space and for the sake of clarity of the argument, the author focuses on the role of the EU budget rather than all measures aimed at social cohesion undertaken by EU institutions or targeted by policies of individual Member States.

Methodology: Documents, studies and reports published by the European Commission constitute the main source of information. In addition, the author has taken into account macroeconomic data demonstrating the deterioration of the social situation since 2009, as well as the instruments that the European Commission has deployed since 2013 in order to respond to post-crisis challenges.

Conclusions: It can be roughly estimated that more than 40 percent of total resources within the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 shall be allocated to the social cohesion policy. Opportunities afforded by the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy include primarily the definition of objectives whose priority is indisputable and the introduction of the hitherto neglected analysis of certain socio-economic indicators, classified by country or region and, in certain cases, examined in more detail than required by the European Commission. The monitoring of objectives is conducive to the introduction of new solutions and implementation tools, as exemplified by the new instruments within the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, as well as the adjustment of available funds in light of the most pressing challenges. The European Semester has facilitated the task of comparing progress in strategy implementation by individual Member States, as well as the provision of recommendations for each of them and an individualized approach.

Research implications: This article contributes to the discussion on further integration of the European Union’s social dimension, with particular emphasis on the need to work out a common approach to immigration policy.

Originality: The author presents her own opinions regarding current events in terms of the post-crisis social cohesion policies of the European Union, taking into account the European Commission’s financial instruments.