GEF has published a report for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, which examines the role that GDP plays in shaping EU regional policy. Commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group and authored by experts from the Université libre de Bruxelles, the publication is available in both French and English, and can be downloaded or ordered free from GEF.
EU regional policy continues to be based solely on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of each region. As is now accepted by many, there are serious flaws with the concept of GDP, such as its emphasis on economic production over other factors such as social equality. However, how else can regional policy be decided, if not by the GDP of each region?
This publication comes to the conclusion that the usefulness of GDP means it will continue to play a major role in shaping EU regional policy. However, its shortcomings can be compensated for by taking into account other factors, such as health and social cohesion.
As the European Commission prepares to review regional policy for the 2014-2020 period, this publication makes the case for a more nuanced regional policy that ensures European money is put to the best possible use.