HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋Towards sustainable economic policy paradigms




Expected Outcome

Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • An established network of relevant policymakers, academic experts, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, fora and networks working on beyond GDP policy frameworks and measurement of multidimensional well-being, including National Statistical Offices (NSOs) or other national authorities in charge.
  • An effective science-policy dialogue to increase the usability and acceptability of beyond GDP policy frameworks and well-being indicators.
  • Policymakers, at European and national level, well informed about how to better incorporate well-being considerations into their work.
  • Support and methodological guidance to EU Member States and Associated Countries, policymakers, national authorities, and experts on data collection and statistics for the measurement and monitoring of well-being.
  • Well-working knowledge exchange and coordination on “beyond GDP” policy frameworks and well-being indicators among different stakeholders including through platforms, knowledge repositories, boards of experts, workshops and networking events.
  • Links with ongoing policy priorities and initiatives, such as the European Green Deal, the 8th Environmental Action Plan (EAP), the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Resilience Dashboards, and the United Nation’s Agenda 2030.


GDP is still the main macroeconomic indicator used around the world to quantify economic activity. However, the GDP indicator was never designed to measure human and planetary prosperity and well-being. Since more than a decade now[1], it is becoming clear that GDP on its own cannot reflect the real level of well-being and development of a society, or the damage done to the environment by certain economic activities and consumption choices[2]. “Beyond GDP” policy frameworks and indicators such as the Eurostat Sustainable Development Goals reporting[3] are needed to measure progress against the global challenges of the 21st century (such as climate change; demographic changes; changing world of work; digitalisation and technological change).

The transition to a well-being economy is embedded in the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the 8th EAP and enshrined in both the 2030 and 2050 priority objectives. Multidimensional “beyond GDP” indicators and policy frameworks are needed to monitor and measure, inform policymaking, improve communication, and promote target setting on social, economic, and environmental objectives. Such indicators are crucial to measure well-being and prosperity as well as environmental and social sustainability at individual, community, national level and international level, while accounting for the principle of "leaving no one behind" and capturing spill over effects of the EU’s activities. Well-being indicators should be used to measure both objective and subjective dimensions, where the latter refers to individual behaviours, social preferences, values systems and social norms.

Over the past decade, several new well-being indicators have been developed, which have been embraced to various degrees by several governments and international organisations. At the current juncture, the challenge is twofold: 1) to overcome data gaps caused by lack of data collection and insufficient harmonisation and coordination across Member States, and 2) to bring “beyond GDP” policy frameworks and well-being indicators into more active policymaking in a sensible and clearer way. Initiatives under this call should provide tangible solutions to this challenge.

The goal of the proposals should be to help in particular policymakers and stakeholders, who are not familiar with beyond GDP policy frameworks and well-being indicators, but want to learn how to better incorporate well-being considerations into their work. The proposals should design concrete co-creation tools that support policymakers at the national, regional, local and city levels to develop and analyse policies and programmes with a well-being lens.

To this end, the proposals should shed light on the synergies between existing data sources, initiatives on beyond GDP, and results from previous funded projects. Proposals could cover actions that provide support and methodological guidance to the EU and Member States, policymakers, national authorities, and experts on data collection and statistics to measure and monitor well-being, sustainability, and resilience. By working together with the relevant policymakers and National Statistical Offices projects could assess, for example, the feasibility of scaling up existing knowledge on well-being, sustainability and resilience metrics by integrating it into more regular and standardised data collection exercises.

The proposals may also work towards establishing a European network that would help bring existing beyond GDP policy frameworks and well-being indicators into more active policymaking. Such a network should include a broad range of stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds and needs from all EU Member States, including policymakers, academic experts, international organisations, relevant fora and National Statistical Offices or other national authorities in charge, as well as social partners. Proposals are encouraged to also collaborate with the JRC.

Outputs should, where possible, feed into online learning content accessible to the public and various stakeholders in the form of platforms and knowledge repositories, and thereby open doors for mutual learning opportunities and exchanges of good practices. The proposals are encouraged to build strong networks and liaise with other stakeholders working on well-being through regular exchanges, in the form of, for example, boards of experts, workshops and networking events.

[1] Important steps in this context were made by the 2009 manifesto by Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi, and the 2009 Commission Communication on “GDP and beyond: measuring progress in a changing world” and its 2013 follow-up “Progress on ‘GDP and beyond’ actions”.

[2] See the ECFIN Discussion Pater “Economic Policy-Making Beyond GDP: An Introduction”, Alessio Terzi https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/economic-policy-making-beyond-gdp-introduction_en

[3] Commission (Eurostat) publishes 2022 report on SDG (europa.eu) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_3212



Application date
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology
Social sciences : Economy, Management and Public administration, Political science, Sociology