THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- notes that the debate on Indicators for territorial development - GDP and beyond is political in nature, and should start with a shared and democratic definition of the strategic objectives for current and future generations;
- acknowledges the merits of GDP as a simple, straightforward and linear indicator based on a clear methodology. However, GDP is not an accurate measure of the ability of a society to tackle many aspects of key concern to citizens, as observed by regional and local representatives;
- welcomes the numerous initiatives at international, national, regional and local level for establishing indices for measuring progress beyond GDP. However, not all kinds of methodological approaches are equally appropriate for an EU-wide method; and supports, therefore, methods that complement GDP when measuring progress towards common strategic goals;
- emphasises that the Europe 2020 strategy has established a set of targets with associated key indicators and acknowledged the importance of complementing data on economic growth (GDP);
- underlines that a number of EU instruments are still based on an excessively narrow economic measure. This also concerns Cohesion Policy. Therefore, eligibility decisions are basically blind to social and environmental and territorial aspects across European regions. The logical step would be to base future instruments on a more comprehensive, uniform method;
- underlines, in this context, that the availability of indicators and of frequently updated data at a regional level is essential to improving the accountability of the technical proposal and making good political decisions;
- suggests, with a view to the next programming period beyond 2020, that the European Commission starts as early as possible an in-depth discussion with local and regional authorities about the future goals of these policies and the necessary indicators to measure this progress, and invites the Commission to put forward in this respect a roadmap on GDP and beyond.