Cities reflect the major social challenges of Europe in one space. The trend is of increasing poverty and inequalities, not only between people but within neighbourhoods. Just like ‘Europe’ a city is comprised of many different neighbourhoods and ‘inclusive’ cities aim to make sure people have the same chances regardless of where they live.
Raising the quality of life of people across the EU should mean tackling inequalities where they are most visible – i.e. directly in our cities. Our member cities work with many vulnerable groups such as Roma, migrants and refugees, disabled people or senior citizens, towards taking a full and active part in society and to encourage greater social cohesion.
Unless long-term EU policy goals are designed around the real needs of local communities, rather than the needs of member states, we will not reach real convergence of living standards across Europe.