The goal to turn the EU into the most competitive and dynamic economy by 2010 demands a full benchmarking system to monitor policy performance and their impact on progress.
For this reason, the European Commission has engaged in selecting, collecting and analysing a set of indicators that are published each year. The Stockholm European Council has further emphasised the need for effective, timely and reliable statistics and indicators. A main challenge is to developindicators for the main characteristics and key drivers. An utmost important and challenging area to be measured is social cohesion. Based on a clear definition of social cohesion, a universally-accepted high-quality and robust statistics to adequately measure social cohesion is required. Further, tools formeasuring temporal developments and regional breakdowns to sub-populations of relevance will be of great importance. In order to measure social cohesion with Laeken indicators adequately while regarding national characteristics and practical peculiarities from the newly created EU-SILC, an improved methodology will be elaborated within AMELI. This will ensure that future political decision in the area of quality of life can be based on more adequate and high-quality data and a proper understanding of the Laeken indicators by the users.
The study will include research on data quality including its measurement, treatment of outliers and nonresponse, small area estimation and the measurement of development over time.
A large simulation study based on EU-SILC data will allow a simultaneous elaboration of the methodology focusing on practical issues aiming at support for policy. Due to the fact that the Laeken indicators are based on a highly sophisticated methodology the project’s outcome may also serve as a methodological complement for other FP7 projects in the area of indicators.