EUROPEAN CONVERGENCE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE SOCIAL STRATEGY OF LATVIA
Keywords:convergence, strategy “Europe 2020“, social development, cohesion policy
The purpose of this study is to introduce evaluation of convergence policy activities in the European Union and to designate social development trends of Latvia in the context of reaching the goals of strategy “Europe 2020. The aim of the research has set the following tasks: to introduce the main EU social convergence theory investigations as the development challenges for improvement socio-economic well-being of the EU states; to evaluate current social situation and eventual social strategy of Latvia on 2014-2020; to estimate European convergence policy impact on the social development of Latvia.
The strategic goals of EU policy are discussed as well as the development challenges for improvement of the national economy well-being in the EU states and to avoid social disparities This study contains analysis of the new concepts of „Europe 2020“ growth strategy and the Europe convergence policy impact appreciate on Latvian social strategy changes and prospects. The main emphasis of this research lies in the complex approach to the social convergence theory and EU cohesion policy implementation on the social development strategy of Latvia.
The research methodology is based on the convergence theory and its main scenario analysis, convergence catch-up rate calculation, on the EU strategy and European Commission legitimate documents application, on the growth theory and socio-economic forecasts analysis and on the national and external factors and variables estimations. The research methods employed in the present study are the monographic method, analysis and synthesis, statistical analysis and the graphic methods. This research investigate major information for social situations estimation in Latvia as well as GDP growth, welfare conditions, inflation and unemployment indicators and its possible development on 2014-2020.
The speed of convergence depends on the initial discrepancy of the development level in the EU states. The efficiency of European convergence policy can also be improved by significant economic growth and by clever choice of the country-specific social activities. The objective of this study is to describe current social policy of Latvia and its consistent including into European convergence process.
The main targets of social development prescribed by the strategy “Europe 2020” influence on the contents of the Latvia`s strategy „Europe 2020” and of the „National Development Plan of Latvia for 2014-2020”. In this medium-term planning strategies documents the main social and economic development priorities and sources of finance for their implementation are mutually coordinated. The eventual situation of the social policy in Latvia continues improving and the long-term calculations and forecasts by medium-growth scenario shows increasing tendency of Latvia`s GDP per capita in (PPS) from 64.0% in 2012 to 75.3% for 2020 and till 87.0% for 2030 of EU-28 average level.
The main results and conclusions of this study reflect the overall social convergence situation estimation in the EU and especially in Latvia, contain different Latvian social indicators calculations, describe the main principle for welfare increasing and information flows preparation for national growth model estimation.
The discussion consist analysis of the strategic choice for socio-economic policy of Latvia in the context of “Europe 2020” strategic goals and include current and future European convergence policy impact significance on social progress in the EU states and Latvia.