The opinion document was presented at its 479th plenary session, held on 28 and 29 March 2012 (meeting of 29 March), the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the following opinion by 172 votes to 5 with 12 abstentions. It is intended to be in an input for upcoming events RIO+20 and the 4th OECD World Forum.
The document provides a series of recommendations/conclusions to further involve civil society including:
- The EESC would argue that the complex path leading to a new definition of well-being and the progress of societies – beyond economic growth alone – cannot be separated from concurrent European policies to tackle the renewed impact of the economic and financial crisis.
- The gap between economic policies at both national and European level and policies for well-being and social progress has widened considerably. However, given the now widespread adoption of indicators complementary to GDP by official national statistical services, the possibility of narrowing this gap is linked to the capacity to process the large quantities of information available in terms of public knowledge and awareness.
- The EESC emphasises its willingness to act as a meeting place between organised civil society and official European bodies as part of a participatory decision-making process to identify and design indicators of progress for the European Union.
Also contained in the document is an outline of:
- the complex path from economic growth to progress of societies,
- ways to make the progress of societies the new benchmark,
- the gaps in information, consultation and participation in the process of preparing progress indicators, the barriers and ways to overcome them.
Access the full document here.