The EU-SPI project (in its full name: “Measuring what Matters to EU Citizens: Social Progress in the European regions”) is a multi-region pilot project, launched by the European Commission, in order to encourage regions to empirically test how the EU Social Progress Index (EU SPI) could be used to improve policy-making, in particular for policies supported by cohesion policy. The aim is for the pilot to serve as a guide for European regions in using the EU-SPI but also to gather recommendations on how to improve the next edition of the index that was launched in on the 2nd December 2020. HETFA Research Institute was involved in the consortium as partner.

Cohesion policy is the EU’s main investment area. The cohesion policy (funded by 50 billion EUR annually) aims to promote growth and a better quality of life in the EU’s regions, especially the less developed regions. A decade ago, DG REGIO developed the regional competitiveness index to help regions identify their economic strengths and weaknesses. The EU Social Progress Index now joins this index to show regions which of their social issues need more attention. The introduction of this index coincides with the preparation of the next programming period for cohesion policy (2021-2027). As a result, lessons can be learned to identify key investment priorities across the Union to improve social development.

Parallel to the SPI Index Launch Event, a website was launched where you can browse European regions in connection to the Social Progress Index and read some analysis on the first results.

In September, in the frame of the project’s Virtual Peer Learning Event, our colleague, Bálint Herczeg presented a Background Paper on Demography and Ageing. The description of the Event and the presentation is available here.

(Photo credits: European Structural and Investment Funds website)