Europe En Route to 2020: A New Way of Evaluating the Overall Fulfillment of the Europe 2020 Strategic Goals
The growth strategy of Europe 2020 includes standards to be achieved by the EU member states in many crucial areas, such as in employment, innovation, education, poverty, climate and energy policy. The progress is regularly measured by a set of predetermined indicators in each area. Although Eurostat annually publishes the values of these indicators on both national and cross-national levels, not many studies have been conducted on the methodology of how the progress can be quantified. In this paper we propose a new, more efficient complex index that measures how close the member states are to the completion of the strategy, also considering the heterogeneity of growth paces across the countries. A series of calculations (such as the Mahalanobis distance between the actual and the target values of the indicators and a special self-weighting average constructed to eliminate country-specific differences in development) that were based on the original indicators showed that the EU seemed to lag behind in fulfilling its goals that had been set for 2020 in 2008–2013. It can be empirically proven that a successful cohesion policy is essential in order to fulfill the growth expectations set for a decade.
KeywordsEurope 2020 Complex measure Level of success Composite indicator Self-weighting average
JEL ClassificationC43 I38 O52
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