South Europe: Economic Crisis - Rural/urban disparities, regional convergence, poverty and exclusion

The recent economic crisis has had a major impact on millions of European citizens with any people losing their jobs and household incomes decreasing. This may in turn lead to poverty and exclusion. Therefore, it is possible to identify the main patterns that are visible through the process of divergence:

  • the urban/rural economical gaps are increasing;
  • the disparities become more visible along the Eastern European Union borders;
  • the areas which have low interactions with urban facilities are dealing with the transition from isolation to loss of connections.

The Europe 2020 Strategy aims for reducing poverty and social exclusion, being achieved by increasing employment rates, improving the quality of jobs, the development of new skills and labour market reform. Some population groups, which are endangered of poverty and social exclusion are in
the special focus of the priority, and this approach should lead to social cohesion and regional coherence.

The emphasis of these social issues is mainly based on an economic rationale: Europe needs to make full use of its labour potential to face the challenge of an ageing population and to boost its global competitiveness. Under these circumstances, southern region faces bigger challenges to reach the European targets.

Below you can fin full text of Information Material "Economic Crisis: Rural/urban disparities, regional convergence, poverty and exclusion" and addendum "The North‐East Region of Romania" (both documents in English, Romanian and Italian, the first document only in Greek and Spanish).