On 29 November 2022, Ms Iselin Berg Mulvik and Dr Roberta Cucca presented a study on social challenges in cities (prepared by PPMI).
More than 60 per cent of citizens live in functional urban areas, showing that the EU is highly urbanised. The cities across the European Union are very diverse and polarised. The fragmentary tendency has also been seen in the largest metropolitan zones in Europe. The presented study explores social challenges and policy responses in EU cities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation demonstrates that the pandemic has placed additional pressures on groups with vulnerabilities and the institutions that work to support them.
Health crises have an economic impact and put pressure on both institutions and residents in cities. The pandemic has especially affected people with vulnerabilities due to the negligible occurrence of economic, social, institutional, educational, psychological and physical factors.
In addition to the study, experts have also prepared and presented a short briefing on Ukrainian refugees in European cities. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, almost eight million Ukrainian people have fled the country. Most of them have found their refuge in the EU. Cities play a crucial role in this regard. Due to their social infrastructure and strong economies, they could provide not just shelter, but also social and economic opportunities. The presented briefing summarizes the implications of the influx of refugees from Ukraine to European cities, and describes how cities can navigate challenges to continue to be a positive factor in the support of Ukraine.