Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

​Cohesion policy - 22.07.2015

Is GDP an adequate indicator to reflect the regional reality?
European institutions are already discussing the next cohesion policy programming period to start in 2020. One of the main challenges for the post 2020 will be to define the indicators that regions will use to allocate structural funds.

Until now, national GDP has been used as the main criterion to reflect a region's socio-economic development. However, such standard does not take into account neither social nor environmental aspects (poverty, health, education or environmental quality) to truly reflect the reality on the ground.

The Scottish association of local government (COSLA) represented CEMR in a seminar organised by the Committee of the Regions, to explain how municipalities around Europe are using different calculation methods to reflect their territorial development and to allow them to allocate national and European funds. In Scotland, for instance, municipalities developed an index of multiple deprivation in the neighborhoods that took into account different socio-economic aspects (such as social inclusion, public services delivery, health and poverty) to allocate the European Social Fund.

CEMR will continue to discuss this issue with its members in the months ahead.
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