September 2, 14:00-15:00
Discussion "Keeping societies together in the 2020s – where does the sense of increased social and economic inequality come from?"
The perceived social and economic inequalities within societies have become subject to debate in many countries in the world, sometimes leading to political protests and upheaval. The communication possibilities created by the digital transformation of society have sometimes reinforced the feeling of unfairness among large groups of people. The welfare societies of the Baltic Sea Region, like the Nordic countries and Germany, as well as the Baltic countries, are also experiencing increased tensions within their societies when social and economic policies are questioned and sometimes are claimed to increase gaps between the economically affluent and more disadvantaged groups. The social contract, that traditionally has been the cornerstone of “the Nordic welfare model” and its redistribution of wealth, is still intact but is threatened by increased economic disparities. In Latvia, there is also growing discontent among certain groups in society, that perceive an unfair distribution of resources and demand greater attention to public delivery of services like health care and education. Solidarity, which for long has been a word with strong ideological connotations, not least in the Baltic countries, has once again come back into use among politicians.