Though mainstream economic measures such as GDP are useful measures with great influence on both public and private decisions, they are flawed as measures of human welfare. In addition, they give little information as to whether the market is helping Europe make progress on its environmental goals and its commitment to sustainable development. There is a critical need in Europe for indicators and measurement systems that—working in conjunction with mainstream economic indicators—provide a useful measure of progress toward economic success, human well-being, environmental protection and long-term sustainability. There is now a growing interest and momentum on the part of policy makers and researchers in developing these complementary headline indicators to better assess progress. The IN-STREAM project will undertake the qualitative and quantitative assessments necessary for linking mainstream economic indicators with key well-being and sustainability indicators, providing needed insight into the synergies and trade-offs implicit in Europe’s simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and environmental sustainability. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses, recommendations for new indicator approaches will be proposed. Recommended indicators (and sets of indicators) will those that perform best in terms of their robustness, feasibility and suitability to EU policy objectives. Strategies for implementing these approaches will be identified and developed in consultation with stakeholders.
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