VISION probes the notion of conviviality with respect to the dynamics of the European ‘inner peripheries’ beyond the conventional discourse on (dis)integration or social cohesion.
Seeking alternatives to the world as it is now, the ‘convivialists’ suggest models for labour based on human dignity and vocation, postulate to re-think the role of nation-state vis-à-vis truly transnational challenges and urge us to subordinate technological innovations not to economic profit of few, but to a common good of all people.
A convivial society designates a society in which each person’s well-being, competence and creativity are limited only by the claims of others to an equal range of power and freedom.
Following the convivialist approaches, VISION asks how to facilitate collaboration between all inhabitants along shared interests rather than shared identities to foster a commitment to civic togetherness.
The aggregated disparities between states in Europe are decreasing, but many areas in the heart of every single EU-state have developed to the so-called ‘inner peripheries’. These are areas where population density is low and declining, that are economically and socially lagging behind. As a result, the remaining citizens have low access to basic services of general interest. Such areas can lie between or in the vicinity of urban centres and they are widespread across Europe, regardless of the country’s overall economic prosperity or central/peripheral location on the continent.
As the mobilization of the domestic workforce is not sufficient to cover labour demands in these areas, ‘inner peripheries’, often in the west and north of Europe, rely on foreign – mobile and cheaper – labour from the east and the south. While this may add to economic growth for some, it also drains labour from other regions. The financial crisis in 2008 – and undoubtedly also the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – work as catalysts, increasing the pressures on ‘inner peripheries’ and increasing the disparities.