Social inclusion – What is it and what solutions for the regions?
An Introduction for Regional Policy-makers
Social inclusion is not some new, revolutionary topic or some last-minute challenge that our
society and political systems have do deal with. Yet, social inclusion remains a topical issue that
has taken growing proportions with the different waves of migration, and even more with the
rising levels of poverty among some groups of the population as a result of the economic crisis.
The ideal of an inclusive society has been on the European political agendas at least since the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development in 1995 and the UN Millennium Declaration in
2000. These documents advocate the states’ commitment to promoting values such as
freedom, equality and tolerance, and making globalisation a source of opportunity for all.
Including groups on the basis of these values means removing barriers of race, gender; class or
generation, and ensuring that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities
and necessary resources to fully participate with equal opportunities in all dimensions of the
community’s social life.
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