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Reaching the Social Cohesion in Education: Perspective of Lithuanian Teachers
The role of the teacher in the educational process has to be reconsidered within the process of social change. Social cohesion can be viewed as an integral part of sustainable development, based on an integrated, holistic approach to economic, societal and environmental development. The role of teachers needs to be reoriented toward the promotion of social cohesion in education, considering the different subcultures that are present. The empirical study described in this article was carried out in Lithuania as a stage within the VI Framework Project "Strategies for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe from Education". A semi-structured interview designed by an international team was conducted with eight primary school teachers from a Kaunas region basic school. The data obtained through the interviews was subjected for content analysis. The paper concludes that the interviewed primary school teachers tend to act as representatives that enhance the subculture of sustainability.
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.
Following the publication of ‘European Spatial Development Perspective’ in 1999, a large number of theoretical and empirical studies have been carried out on polycentric spatial development especially in European settlements. The relationship between polycentricity and economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social cohesion are some of the main concerns of these studies. This study aims to clarify ‘the meaning of polycentricity’ in the case of Turkey, as a developing country and analyse the relationship between polycentric spatial development and economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social cohesion. After calculation of morphological polycentricity of the regions at NUTS-5 level, the propositions on the positive effects of polycentric spatial development on economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social cohesion is tested by using Pearson correlation and OLS regression models. The results of the empirical study are mixed for these three subjects. Polycentric spatial development has not positive effects on economic competitiveness and social cohesion in Turkey case. Conversely, a positive effect exists in terms of environmental sustainability. It can be said, that to reach those policy aims highlighted by European Spatial Development Perspective, could not be realised by only taken into account polycentric spatial development in Turkey case.
evening. The group of men, who carried clubs and iron pipes, threatened nurses and doctors to hand over the wounded man, making the police draw their weapons on them. No one was further injured, but the incident sparked an intense public and political debate about ghettoisation, integration and self-segregation of ethnic minorities in Denmark. Themes that have been at the centre stage of Danish urban policy debates for the past two decades. In this article, we explore how public debates and urban policies have come to frame socialcohesion in a particular way. The
Purpose: To analyse the impact of the Polish fiscal regime on the general revenue of the country, and specifically to establish whether the cumulative tax burden borne by Polish households is progressive or regressive.
Methodology: On the basis of Eurostat and OECD data, the author has analysed fiscal regimes in EU Member States and in OECD countries. The tax burden of households within different income groups has also been examined pursuant to applicable fiscal laws and data pertaining to the revenue and expenditure of households published by the Central Statistical Office (CSO).
Conclusions: The fiscal regime in Poland is regressive; that is, the relative fiscal burden decreases as the taxpayer’s income increases.
Research Implications: The article contributes to the on-going discussion on social cohesion, in particular with respect to economic policy instruments aimed at the redistribution of income within the economy.
Originality: The author presents an analysis of data pertaining to fiscal policies in EU Member States and OECD countries and assesses the impact of the legal environment (fiscal regime and social security system) in Poland on income distribution within the economy. The impact of the total tax burden (direct and indirect taxes, social security contributions) on the economic situation of households from different income groups has been calculated using an original formula.
The concept of urban gardening varies a lot in terms of gardening forms and main purposes. Followed by changes in people life style, growing interest in healthy living and sustainable urban development, the aims of urban gardening become more complex. The product of urban garden, e. g. vegetables or ornamental plants, nowadays plays less important role, as the main focus is on societal issues, urban regeneration, education and health. Thus, this article provides evidence of multi-functionality of urban gardening to address the variety of societal issues across people of different age and cultural background. Case studies from Malmo, Birmingham and Riga show how urban gardening contributes to social integration, inhabitants’ well-being and urban regeneration.
This article explicates the sociocultural dynamics in the changing lives of the Vlashika Rom group in the Czech and Slovak Republics and contemplates the prospective development of this Roma subculture. To provide a better insight into the endeavour of the Vlashika Rom to maintain their integrity and into their adaptation strategies, the author outlines the genesis of this subethnic group, pointing out the historical circumstances that have formed them in the past. Contrary to former descriptions, the author provides an entirely new concept for dividing the Vlashika Rom into subgroups, identifying three distinct levels that create social boundaries within this community. He describes the way of living of this subgroup in the past as well as the relationships between the Vlashika Rom and the dominant society. Frequently antagonistic, these relationships depend on their way of life, substantially determined by the way they earn their living. The author analyses the inner resources that keep sustaining the contemporary Vlashika Rom culture and, drawing on his own experience and impulses from literature, inquires how long this anachronistic yet at the same time very adaptable culture will be able to resist the assimilation pressures deriving from the very nature of the modern national state.
Minority rights instruments have been traditionally applied to old minority groups. This paper examines to what extent these same instruments are conceptually meaningful to the integration of new minorities stemming from migration. The conviction that minority groups, irrespective of their being old or new minorities, have some basic common claims that can be subsumed under a common definition does not mean that all minority groups have all the same rights and legitimate claims: some have only minimum rights, while others have or should be granted more substantial rights; some can legitimately put forward certain claims – not enforceable rights – that need to be negotiated with the majority, while others should not. In order to devise a common but differentiated set of rights and obligations for old and new minority groups, it is essential to analyse the differences and similarities of both categories of minorities, their claims, needs, and priorities; in this way, it will be possible to delineate a catalogue of rights that can be demanded by and granted to different minority groups. Studying the interaction between traditional minorities and migrants or old and new minority groups is a rather new task because so far these topics have been studied in isolation from each other. It is also an important task for future research in Europe since many states have established systems for the rights of old minorities but have not as yet developed sound policies for the integration of new minority groups stemming from migration.
The article discusses the possibility of “measuring” the intensity of cross-border cohesion and co-dependence on the case of Slovene border areas. It presents first an overview of how geography has studied and interpreted borders, and what an impact had borders on both space and society. The author then analyses both qualitative and quantitative structure of border areas prior to Slovenia’s admission to the Schengen Space and explores recent changes after 2007, when border controls on the major part of his borders where eliminated. These developments produced several spatial and social (re)integration trends that have been detected in the author’s analyses through some comparable research methods and indicators, permitting also to rank Slovenian border sections and individual sub-areas by the intensity and quality of their cross-border cohesion.