Evening Debate on Inequalities in Europe

18.00-19.30, Tuesday 15 September 2015, European Parliament

The event is jointly organised by European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) Working Group Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and the European Science Foundation (ESF) Scientific Review Group for the Social Sciences (SRG-SOC)

The event will begin with an introductory address by the ALLEA President, after which a panel of experts from both academia and the European Parliament will discuss various aspects of the topic of inequalities and illuminate key examples. After the panel discussion, a debate is envisioned with members of the European Parliament to allow for further examination of how science can help the policies towards tackling inequalities. This multifaceted topic encompasses such issues as income and wealth inequalities; employment, inequality and social policy; as well as health, regional, educational, democratic, environmental, and gender inequalities and other cross-cutting themes such as migration, identity or sustainability.

Inequalities are a profound research and policy challenge for the European Union. For example, the European Union’s 2020 Strategy includes a target to have at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. The understanding of inequalities is also vital for many areas of research within Horizon 2020. To “reverse inequalities” is furthermore a named priority for the EU in the European Council’s “Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change”.

In the wider context, the roundtable debate seeks to explore how scientific perspectives, especially from the humanities and social sciences, can concretely contribute to developing effective approaches and solutions for major societal challenges such as inequalities. The debate on inequalities follows the successful first roundtable debate that focussed on demographic change, which was organised by ALLEA, the ESF and the EPRS in March 2015.

Session Moderator: Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA, Chairman of the Scientific Review Group for the Social Sciences, European Science Foundation


  • Professor Brian Nolan, University of Oxford (opening remarks)
  • Professor Pawel Świeboda, Deputy Head, European Political Strategy Centre (keynote)
  • Dr Andrej Stuchlik, EPRS, Economic Policies Unit (keynote)
  • Professor John Bell, University of Cambridge and Chair of the ALLEA Working Group Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Professor Bea Cantillon, Antwerp University
  • Professor Graham Caie, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Sébastien Chauvin, Amsterdam Univeristy
  • Dr Bruno Cousin, Lille University
  • Professor Duncan Gallie, University of Oxford
  • Dr Anton Hemerijck, Amsterdam University
  • Professor Daniela Jezová, Bratislava University
  • Professor Dominique Joye, Lausanne University
  • Professor Jukka Kekkonen, Council of Finnish Academies
  • Professor Günter Stock, ALLEA President
  • Professor Alison Woodward, Free University of Brussels and Member of the Scientific Review Group for the Social Sciences, European Science Foundation

The audience will primarily be a policy-oriented one including Members of the European Parliament and other Political Group and Committee staff, and officials from other European Institutions, as well as of course members of the academic and research communities based in Brussels. The event will be hosted by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) in the library of the European Parliament in Brussels.