Beyond GDP is an initiative of the European Union and is about developing indicators that are as clear and appealing as GDP, but more inclusive of environmental and social aspects of progress. Economic indicators such as GDP were never designed to be comprehensive measures of prosperity and well-being. We need adequate indicators to address global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, poverty, resource depletion, health and quality of life.
In November 2007, the European Commission and the European Parliament together with the Club of Rome, OECD and WWF hosted the high-level conference “Beyond GDP” with the objectives of clarifying which indices are most appropriate to measure progress, and how these can best be integrated into the decision-making process and taken up by public debate. The conference brought together over 650 policy makers, experts and civil society representatives to address these critical issues.
On 20 August 2009, the European Commission released its Communication “GDP and beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world”. The Communication—a direct outcome of the Beyond GDP conference—outlines an EU roadmap with five key actions to improve our indicators of progress in ways that meet citizens’ concerns and make the most of new technical and political developments. 
In 2010, a Joint Report requested by the Franco-German Ministerial Council was released by the French Conseil d’Analyse Économique (CAE) and the German Council of Economic Experts on “Monitoring economic performance, quality of life and sustainability.”
The Committee of the Regions at its 86th plenary session, held on 5 and 6 October 2010 (meeting of 5 October) adopted the own Opinion on “Measuring progress – GDP and beyond”. See full document: File:CDR163-2010 FIN AC EN.doc
The European Economic and Social Committee at its 479th plenary session, held on 28 and 29 March 2012 (meeting of 29 March)adopted the own Opinion on “GDP and beyond – the involvement of civil society in choosing complementary indicators. See full document File:Ces814-2012 ac en.doc
- Beyond GDP Website http://www.beyond-gdp.eu/index.html
- Involvement of civil society in choosing complementary indicators (ProgBlog post)
- Beyond GDP official website
- For up to date news see Beyond GDP recent news section
Progress Papers and Publications
- Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on GDP and beyond – the involvement of civil society in choosing complementary indicators
- Summary of contributions available – GDP and Beyond
- Olli Rehn European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Policy Concluding remarks at the Conference “Economic Growth for Better Quality of Life in Europe” Conference on Economic Growth for Better Quality of Life in Europe Brussels, 14 September 2010
- European Environment Agency. 2007. Technical paper. Accounting fully for ecosystem services and human well-being. EEA contribution to the Beyond GDP conference.
- Giovannini, Enrico, Jon Hall and Marco Mira d’Ercole. 2007. Measuring Well-being and Societal Progress. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Background paper for the conference ‘Beyond GDP’, 19-20 November, Brussels.
- Goossens, Yanne et al. 2007. Alternative progress indicators to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a means towards sustainable development. IP/A/ENVI/ST/2007-10. Study provided for the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
- Mollgaard, Elisabeth. 2007. Accounting for the Environment – The European Development. Eurostat, Unit E-3: Environment statistics, European Commission. Background document for the conference ‘Beyond GDP’, 19-20 November, Brussels.
- Saltelli, Andrea, Jochen Jesinghaus and Giuseppe Munda. 2007. Well Being Stories. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra (Italy). Background document for the conference ‘Beyond GDP’, 19-20 November, Brussels.
- Wesselink, Bart, Jan Bakkes, Aaron Best, Friedrich Hinterberger and Patrick ten Brink. 2007. Measurement Beyond GDP. Background document for the conference ‘Beyond GDP’, 19-20 November, Brussels.
- White, Stephen and Oliver Zwirner. 2007. The use of indicators in the European Commission. Directorate-General Environment, Unit Sustainable Development and Economic Analysis, European Commission.