The Centro Portugal region (regional capital: Coimbra) is spread over 28,000 km2 and in 2017 had 2,243,934 inhabitants (Eurostat, 2018), which accounts for approximately 31% of Portugal's total area and 21.8% of the population living in the country. Located in the central part of Portugal, Centro has a strategic position since it is situated between the two major national urban centres: Lisbon and Porto.
Taking into account the population dynamics, the region is characterised by presenting, as a whole, a low population density resulting from the existence of an asymmetry within the region characterised by a desertification of the "inland" areas (except the urban centres located there) in contrast with the coast lands, which are most populated and urbanised areas.
In 2016 the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), which has been increasing since 2012, was at €35.3bn, corresponding to 19.0% of the national GDP (Eurostat, 2018). Taking into account the GDP per capita expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), the Centro region, with 19,700 (2016), is below the national average (22,500) and the EU-28 average (29,200) (Eurostat, 2018).
In 2017, the unemployment rate was 7.1%, in line with the EU-28 average (7.6%) and well below the national average (9.0%), which makes Centro the Portuguese region with the lowest unemployment rate (Eurostat, 2018). This value has been decreasing since 2012, when it was at 12.1%.
The regional economy is rather diversified encompassing both low technology level industrial sectors (e.g. ceramics, glass, cement, forest industries (wood, pulp, paper), agro-food), and some medium and high-tech sectors such as health services, biotechnology, telecommunications, new materials (particularly the moulds industry), ICT and renewable energies. It is worth mentioning the strong regional potential of indigenous resources for the production of renewable energy using water, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, biogas and bio fuels.
The tertiary sector is the most important contributor to the regional gross value added (GVA) with a relative weight of 67.8% (2016) but the secondary sector still plays a very relevant role in the regional economy with 28.8% of regional GVA. The primary sector accounts for 3.3% of regional GVA (INE, 2018).
Source: Regional Innovation Monitor - https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regional-innovation-monitor/base-profile/centro-region-Portugal
CCDRC – Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Centro is a regional agency of the Portuguese government that deals with environment, land use, urban planning and regional development in Centro Region of Portugal. CCDRC is also responsible for the management of the ESIF Operational Programme. Within its responsibilities in regional development, CCDRC prepares strategic proposals for regional development together with sectorial bodies, economic agents and local authorities and plays a part in the planning of structural public investment. Through a regional statistics system, it monitors and assesses regional socio-economic dynamics and the impact of public policies. It carries out technical studies to support decision making on regional development projects and policies. CCDRC is also involved in the management of transnational and interregional cooperation projects and programmes, thus reinforcing European cooperation and internationalization. In addition, it represents Centro region within various international organizations of regions. Being the regional public authority, it establishes the guidelines for regional development policy, leads territorially-based strategic planning processes, establishes partnerships between regional agents and draws up integrated programmes promoting territorial cohesion and competitiveness. It was CCDRC that set the regional action plan that underpins the ESIF Operational Programme. Likewise, it was CCDRC that launched and coordinates the process of designing and implementing the regional Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3) that plays a central role in the management of the ESIF.
CCDRC has developed a data platform that allows monitoring the region dynamics. Allows cross-domain monitoring and intraregional comparison. At the same time, it provides information on structural indicators, synthetic indicators and indicators for Europe 2020 for the European regions, allowing a comparison at European level. In this data platform, the Social Progress Index is also available (according to the following link: .)
- Study, in depth, the SPI (and all the indicators that composed it) in order to work the weaknesses of the region;
- Follow the development and the possible future modifications of the SPI;
- Know other uses of SPI in other regions and participate in exchange of best practices (to understand better how we can use more this kind of indexes related with social area and use less, or in complementary, economic ones);
- Understand better what will be the importance of SPI in the future, namely to cohesion policy;
- Interest in following “Beyond GDP” initiatives and be part of the discussion.