Akademia Nauk Stosowanych
im. Alcide De Gasperi
European Union’s structural funds as a tool to prevent social exclusion of national and ethnic minorities
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Wyższa Szkoła Handlowa we Wrocławiu
Inclusive growth is one of the objectives of the European Union, specified in its Europe 2020 Strategy. It is so because social exclusion is not only a reflection of deteriorated quality of life, but it also poses an increasingly serious threat to social security in the European states. Among groups at risk of social exclusion, national and ethnic minorities are always mentioned. This is why the EU provides special schemes, as well as funding for international cooperation of communities to promote tolerance and friendly cohabitation and for social investments designed to serve the most vulnerable groups to improve their integration in the mainstream society. In the entire European Union, social exclusion threatens the Roma communities to a very large extent. This is why the Polish “Human Capital” Operational Programme 2007–2013 provided for specific “Roma component” to assist this group. Other minorities could use “Human Capital” and European Territorial Cooperation Programmes to fund their projects. The paper describes results of interviews with Lower Silesian minority organisations (Roma, Greeks and Germans) about application and effects of the EU funding. It discusses opinions of representatives of the minorities themselves on how the funding should be evaluated and whether it brought actual change. It presents perception of actually obtain ed results and provides recommendations for the next financial perspective.
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