Beyond GDP measures for a successful recovery and a sustainable and resilient EU economy (Own-initiative opinion)

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EESC section opinion: Beyond GDP measures for a successful recovery and a sustainable and resilient EU economy (Own-initiative opinion)

Key points:

The EESC

  • proposes that a series of indicators be developed, ensuring that policy-makers can make informed decisions and foster policies to grow the circular economy;
  • considers that a concise "Beyond GDP" scoreboard should be designed. This could then be incorporated into the European Green Deal scoreboard and the European economic governance process. The "Doughnut Economics" concept developed by the German institute ZOE could be used to design this scoreboard;
  • considers that the Member States should give priority to using some of the indicators proposed by the United Nations, depending on their country's circumstances, and urges them to act on the proposals set out in the OECD's reports on improving the measurement of well-being and prosperity;
  • endorses the views of the European social partners set out at the Porto Summit, whereby the 14 indicators proposed can comprise a scoreboard complementing GDP and can be used to frame policies supporting a sustainable growth model;
  • considers that indicators that look beyond GDP must be able to do more than merely monitor and measure: they must inform policy development, improve communication and promote target setting;
  • considers that a set of indicators needs to be devised to track both the "greening" of financing and the degree to which economic sectors have been "greened";
  • considers that some existing indicators tracking climate change also need to be revised so that progress can be monitored more accurately;
  • considers that steps must be taken to develop a set of indicators for collective bargaining. Collective bargaining protects workers, but it can also promote policies for vocational training programmes which make workers mobile; this will be imperative given the challenges posed by the digital and environmental transitions;
  • feels that further surveys (along the lines of Eurobarometer surveys) need to be conducted, in order to track society's perception of how the economic model is being changed;
  • considers that the development of initiatives to measure well-being more effectively and analyse the impact of economic activities on the environment should also be supported by the Member States and the European Commission.