Progress Initiatives in Europe


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The vast majority of states within Europe are members of the European Union, a political and economic partnership that exists between 27 countries. European countries and the European Union are in many ways at the forefront of the global movement to measure progress, from creating sustainability indicators, to conducting spatial planning research and recognizing the need to go "beyond GDP". See below for the main initiatives, studies and websites.

Progress Initiatives

The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress

Also known as the Stiglitz Commission, it was created in 2008 on the initiative of the French government.

Its aim is to identify the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social Progress, to consider additional information required for the production of a more relevant picture, to discuss how to present this information in the most appropriate way, and to check the feasibility of measurement tools proposed by the Commission. The Commission's work is not focused on France, nor on developed countries.

Beyond GDP

An initiative developed in 2007 in collaboration with the European Union, the European Commission, the Club of Rome, the World Wildlife Commission and the OECD, the mission of Beyond GDP is to create indicators that measure progress in spheres that extend beyond the scope of GDP, and specifically, account for environmental and social progress. In an initial Conference held in 2007, the collaborators of the initiative formulated Beyond GDP's objectives. Since the Conference, these goals have been further pursued through the initiative's Roadmap of 2009, which outlines five key means through which these indicators can be realized. [1]


Eurocities is a network of major European cities.The network provides a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and ideas, to exchange experiences, to analyse common problems and develop innovative solutions, through a wide range of Forums, Working Groups, Projects, activities and events. The network is active across a wide range of policy areas including: economic development and cohesion policy, provision of public services, environment, transport and mobility, employment and social affairs, culture, education, information and knowledge society, governance and international cooperation.

Progress Papers, Studies and Publications


To measure the extent to which citizens are actually aware of key economic indicators and the way in which they comprehend their evolutions and their role within society, the Directorate-General Communication of the European Commission initiated this survey.


This paper is the result of an intensive process of in-depth interviews and surveys of European policymakers, senior advisors and knowledge transfer specialists undertaken by Directorate L “Science, Economy and Society” within the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission.


This Flash Eurobarometer survey on "Attitudes towards biodiversity" (No 219), requested by DG Environment, asked EU citizens, among other things, to clarify how familiar they were with the term biodiversity and with the concept of biodiversity loss.

See Also

European Union



SERI - Sustainable Europe Research Institute


European Spatial Planning Observation Network

New Economics Foundation
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