EU convergence monitoring hub
This hub brings together Eurofound resources on monitoring convergence in the EU.
‘Improving performance of Member States in terms of employment, working and living conditions – moving closer to a policy target – alongside decreasing disparities between them.’
This is the definition of convergence used by Eurofound for its 2018 study Monitoring EU convergence: Concepts, measurements and indicators. In simpler terms, convergence is the process in which Member States - and regions within them - catch up towards the leaders in relation to a particular outcome or policy objective.
Socioeconomic convergence is at the root of the European project and the need for addressing and monitoring social convergence, alongside the economic one, has gained particular emphasis in the European policy agenda. (See definition and methodology).
The EU has achieved convergence in both its economic and social dimensions over recent decades. However, the economic crisis brought these trends to a sudden halt on some indicators, stalling patterns of convergence or causing Member States to diverge in their performance.
Diverging performance across Member States and increasing inequalities within them are a concern because this:
- defies the expectation that deepening European integration leads to growing cohesion at national and pan-European levels
- may give rise to feelings of social injustice and unfairness among citizens, fuelling anti-European sentiment
- is unsustainable from the economic point of view, especially in a monetary union.
In the context of increasing concern over divergence in the progress of Member States, Eurofound in its 2017–2020 work programme committed to investigating whether or not these trends signal a general lowering of living and working conditions.
This research is focused on four areas of convergence: employment, working conditions, living conditions and socioeconomic factors. Within each of these areas, three or more dimensions are explored through a set of 37 indicators that illustrate progress in each area. See:
- EU convergence monitoring hub: Main findings
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.