GDP is the best-known measure of macro-economic activity. While it is used both by policy-makers around the world and in public debates, it was not designed to be a comprehensive measure of prosperity and well-being. Thus, other indicators are needed to assess and address the global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, poverty, resource depletion and to promote health and a higher quality of life. Beyond GDP indicators should become instruments to not only monitor and measure, but also to inform policy development, improve communication and encourage target setting. Against this background, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on 'Beyond GDP measures for a successful recovery and a sustainable and resilient EU economy'.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is moving into its next phase, and the European Semester Group of the EESC is following the process. In this high-level conference we will discuss whether the national recovery and resilience plans will deliver as regards the aim of achieving fair, inclusive, competitive and sustainable growth and cohesion through the new growth strategy – the European Green Deal. Focus will be on the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans, with particular attention on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the just transition towards a green, digital and sustainable European economy. The conclusions of this event will be forwarded to EU institutions and the "EU Recovery Summit" conference in Lisbon on 28 June 2021.
This public debate, titled "Beyond GDP: Measuring people's well-being and societies' progress", with Ms Martine Durand, OECD Chief statistician and Co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress will be held on Tuesday, 4 June 2019, starting at 14.30 p.m. The aim of the debate is to explore the opportunities for the civil society to more actively support the development and implementation of socio-economic indicators alternative to GDP. The report of the HLEG, 'Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance' will serve as a starting point for the discussion.
In order to bring together the views of policymakers and organised civil society, at both EU and national level, the EESC is organising a high-level conference "Towards a more inclusive European Semester", to be held on Thursday, 28 February 2019, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The topics to be discussed will include the current state of the European economy, policy challenges within the European Semester process and the future of the semester.
In the framework of the preparation of its own-initiative opinion, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) organised a public hearing Wealth Inequality in Europe: the Profit-Labour Split, on Friday, 23 June 2017, at the EESC premises, starting from 10 a.m. The objective of the hearing was to gain contributions and insights on this topic from various stakeholders and expert, with a view to channelling these findings into the EESC opinion.