Monitoring EU convergence

A more equal Europe? Convergence and the European Pillar of Social Rights

Policy brief
10 December 2019
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The European Pillar of Social Rights is designed to act as a compass for a renewed process of upward convergence among Member States towards better working and living conditions. It is accompanied by a Social Scoreboard to monitor the progress made by Member States. This policy brief presents the results of an investigation into the upward convergence patterns of the headline indicators of the Social Scoreboard and the relationship between convergence and the business cycle from 2008 to 2018. The results show that although the economic crisis that engulfed Europe from 2008 slowed down the convergence of Member States on some indicators, upward convergence on several has been restored, including the indicators on employment and risk of poverty. While the analysis uncovers different dynamics of upward convergence for most indicators, some very stable and some more unstable, few indicators still show a downward trend over the decade. 

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    A more equal Europe? Convergence and the European Pillar of Social Rights

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    Cite this publication as: 
    Eurofound (2019), A more equal Europe? Convergence and the European Pillar of Social Rights, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
  • Tables and graphs

    • Table 1: Headline indicators of the Social Scoreboard analysed in this study
    • Table 2: Indicators showing steady and stable upward convergence
    • Table 3: Indicators showing upward convergence in good times
    • Table 4: Indicators showing downward trends
    • Table 5: Summary of convergence trends


    • Figure 1: Upward convergence in the early school-leavers rate, EU, 2008–2018
    • Figure 2: Upward convergence in the gender employment gap, EU, 2008–2018
    • Figure 3: Upward convergence in the AROPE rate, EU, 2008–2017
    • Figure 4: Upward convergence in the employment rate, EU, 2008–2018
    • Figure 5: Downward divergence in the unemployment rate, EU, 2008–2018
    • Figure 6: Downward convergence in net earnings of a full-time single worker without children, EU, 2008–2016
    • Figure 7: Upward convergence in self-reported unmet need for medical care, EU, 2008–2017
    • Figure 8: Downward divergence in income inequality, EU, 2008–2018
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