The kick-off meeting of the project „Measuring What Matters to EU Citizens: Social Progress in the European Region” was held on 19 December 2018 in Brussels. With the participation of HETFA, first an internal discussion took place within the consortium then we visited the contact point at DG Regio to have an in-depth understanding of joint activities.

The key aim of this pilot project is to empirically test how the Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) developed by the EU could be used to inform and improve policy-making in relation to policies supported by cohesion policy; at the same time the aim of the pilot is to find ways for linking the EU-SPI index with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to cover several social aspects.

By doing so, the project is currently engaging European regions at various development levels in a joint work: between ten and twelve regions are invited to participate and will also receive reimbursement for their activities. These regions are expected to take part in different activities with a twofold objective: to better understand the regional features and to share and engage in mutual peer learning activities with other regions and the European Commission.

Regarding the first objective, the activities foreseen include a fluent dialogue with the project representatives, an event for better understanding the region’s needs, the participation in a fact-finding mission to the region, the identification of relevant stakeholders in the region with whom to interact for gathering information and the selection of relevant topics to be in depth analysed.

The second objective includes the participation in peer learning workshops, a review of the main findings to inform the European Commission, the participation in the final conference and the possibility to participate in the different dissemination tools put in place by the consortium (e.g. the online platform).

The project start in December and will end by the closing conference in January 2020. The partnership is consisted of highly experienced partners in this field, including:

  • Intrasoft International S.A. (headquarters in Luxemburg, present in 19 other countries)
  • Technopolis Group (being present in 8 European countries)
  • Orkestra, Basque Institute of Competitiveness (Spain)
  • ZSI, Centre for Social Innovation (Austria)
  • University of Athens (Greece)
  • HETFA Research Institute.

HETFA considers this project an important opportunity to get involved in this project and reinforce its network throughout Europe, with a special regard to Central Europe.