Social and economic inequalities are a fact of life, if for no other reason than because humans have different aspirations and abilities, and economies vary by time and place in the opportunities they provide. Differences in wealth, income and aptitude skew the dynamics of open markets, benefiting some at the cost of others and reducing the free flow of people, money, goods and services. As a result, efforts to remove those differences have long been high on the agenda of European integration.
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