Cohesion policy is the EU’s main investment policy. With € 50 billion of EU funding a year, it promotes growth and improves quality of life in all EU regions, and especially in the less developed regions. A decade ago, DG REGIO developed a regional competitiveness index to help regions identify their economic strengths and weaknesses. This index is now joined by the EU regional Social Progress Index. This can show EU regions which of their social issues require more attention. The launch of this index coincides with the preparation of the next programming period for cohesion policy (2021-2027).
"Measuring what Matters to EU Citizens: Social Progress in the European regions" is a multi-region pilot project, launched by the European Commission, in order to encourage regions to empirically test how the EU Social Progress Index (EU SPI) could be used to improve policy-making, in particular for policies supported by cohesion policy. The aim of the pilot was to serve as a guide for European regions in using the EU-SPI but also to gather recommendations on how to improve the next edition of the index, to be launched in December 2020.
The EU Regional Social Progress Index aims to measure social progress for each region as a complement to traditional measures of economic progress. It follows the overall framework outlined above and is based on fifty indicators, primarily from Eurostat. The Index builds on feedback from public and experts in the field alike. The first version was released in 2016 and the second edition is going to be launched in December 2020!
As part of the activities of the Pilot project, 10 case studies in the regions that were selected to participate in the project were conducted. The case studies have two main objectives:
- to collect evidence of the usefulness of the EU-SPI for regional policy-making in the field of social progress
- to identify potential proposals for improving the next edition of the index.
Each case study report is divided into four sections, to include:
Our series of virtual workshops continues, with the next workshop taking place on the 6th of October at 10.00 CET. Ageing and demographic changes are prevalent and timely topics throughout Europe. Such changes in society require changes in services and practices, and they shape our understanding of what constitutes social progress.
The most important demographic progress in Europe (and in most parts of the world) is the ageing of the population.
This is the result of two separate processes: long-term fall of fertility and increased life expectancy. The latter is the result of processes, like: