Europe 2020 strategy: a strategy for which type of growth?
This paper constructs an index that synthesizes the eight targets of the EU 2020 Strategy into a one-dimensional target –EU 2020 synthetic target- and the situation of each EU28 Member States (the current 27 Members plus Croatia) in 2011 with respect to them –2011 synthetic situation-. Hence we can measure the distance of each EU Member State synthetic situation in 2011 to the EU 2020 synthetic target. We find that none of the Member States meets the EU 2020 synthetic target, Denmark is the closest and Malta is the furthest to it. In fact we could identify clusters of Member States in terms of the distances to the EU 2020 synthetic target: the North EU region is closer to and the Mediterranean region is further away from it. We extent the distance analysis above by adding three inequality targets -income distribution, female employment and child poverty- and find that all of the Member States increase their distance between their 2011 synthetic inequality-extended situation and the 2020 inequality-extended targeted situation. Finally, we want to analyse each Member State’s relationship between its objective position regarding the EU 2020 synthetic target and its life satisfaction level, inhabitants’ subjective position. Through a multivariate regression methodology, we analyse how much of the total effect of the synthetic index on life satisfaction is direct, and how much is mediated. The mediation analysis shows that a substantial part of the effect of the synthetic index on life satisfaction is mediated by the GDP per capita. These results are in line with recent views in human development and well-being research. That is, the GDP per capita is only a means to achieve socioeconomic progress, not the end.
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