Monitoring EU convergence

Upward convergence in the EU: Definition, measurement and trends

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Published
30 Meán Fómhair 2020
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Achoimre

The uneven impact of the 2008–2013 economic crisis on Member States brought upward convergence to the fore in EU political debates. The focus was on orienting social policy towards getting the EU back on track, as encapsulated in the European Pillar of Social Rights. However, the meaning of the cRead more

The uneven impact of the 2008–2013 economic crisis on Member States brought upward convergence to the fore in EU political debates. The focus was on orienting social policy towards getting the EU back on track, as encapsulated in the European Pillar of Social Rights. However, the meaning of the concept was unclear. Eurofound filled this gap, defining upward convergence as an improvement in performance alongside a reduction in disparities among Member States in a given socioeconomic indicator. Taking this definition as a starting point, this report illustrates the different ways that upward convergence is typically measured. It also summarises convergence patterns in six important socioeconomic indicators over a decade, from the start of the economic crisis to the height of the recovery. The analysis finds that upward convergence patterns are unstable and that Member States need to strengthen their resilience in the economic and social policy domains to achieve sustainable upward convergence.

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  • Report

    Number of pages: 
    20
    Reference no.: 
    EF20043
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2120-2
    Catalogue no.: 
    TJ-01-20-555-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/340977
    Catalogue info

    Upward convergence in the EU: Definition, measurement and trends

    Produced at the request of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany in the context of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    Formats

    Cite this publication: 

    Eurofound (2020), Upward convergence in the EU: Definition, measurement and trends, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • Tables and graphs

    The following list of graphs can be found in the report. 

    • Figure 1: Downward divergence in income inequality, 2008–2018, EU27
    • Figure 2: Upward convergence in the employment rate, 2008–2018, EU27
    • Figure 3: Downward divergence in the unemployment rate, 2008–2018, EU27
    • Figure 4: Upward convergence in AROPE, 2008–2017, EU27

Research carried out prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. Following this date, research only takes into account the 27 EU Member States (EU28 minus the UK), unless specified otherwise.

This report presents the results of research conducted prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe in February 2020. For this reason, the results do not take account of the outbreak.

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