Cohesion is the glue that holds Europe together. It is shaped by a variety of factors that make Europeans more willing to cooperate with one another. These factors include the connections between societies and economies, people-to-people contacts across borders, as well as attitudes and expectations.
The EU Cohesion Monitor brings all these factors together in a comprehensive measurement of European cohesion across time for all EU member states. For the first time, this updated and extended edition of the Monitor includes the EU28 cohesion ranking and trends from 2007 to 2017.
The EU Cohesion Monitor is part of the Rethink: Europe project by the European Council on Foreign Relations and Stiftung Mercator. To learn more about the project, please visit ecfr.eu/rethinkeurope.
To contact the project team please email [email protected]
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What is the EU Cohesion Monitor?
The EU Cohesion Monitor is an index of the 28 member states of the European Union and their readiness for joint action and cooperation.
It measures how strong cohesion is, how it is changing, and how much it differs between the member states of the European Union.
The concept’s central assumption is that European cohesion is a precondition for Europe’s capacity to act, and that acting together successfully, will in turn strengthen cohesion.
Are cooperation and cohesion different concepts?
Overall, we assume that successful cooperation between individuals as well as societies and countries will strengthen mutual bonds, shared incentives, and common experiences.
Cohesion is broader in that it focuses on the disposition of collective actors to work together.
The EU Cohesion Monitor looks not only at actual cooperation but includes a measurement of the awareness, readiness, and cooperation-mindedness of societies.
What is the difference between individual and structural cohesion?
Individual cohesion describes people’s experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and well-being. Structural cohesion is shaped by connections and practices between countries on the macro-level, including the actions of economic, political, and cultural elites.
The two dimensions often complement each other, but this is not necessarily so. The EU Cohesion Monitor displays both dimensions separately to make this differentiation visible.
What recommendations emerge from the EU Cohesion Monitor?
Cohesion is a central resource needed for European cooperation. Strategies to strengthen cohesion need to address both its individual as well as its structural dimension. They should also address each country’s distinct cohesion profile.
Cohesion is not subject to swift changes. Measures that can boost cohesion should be pursued with stamina for the long term. The variety in cohesion also means that not only policymakers and governments are encouraged to address it. Cohesion is as much a field of engagement for civil-society organisations as well as EU citizens.
What is the methodological framework of the EU Cohesion Monitor
The EU Cohesion Monitor combines a total of 42 factors to measure cohesion along five individual and five structural cohesion indicators. The individual indicators quantify cohesion at the level of citizens’ experiences, opinions and expectations. The structural indicators measure cohesion at the macro level of the state and the economy. The chapter ‘Composition’ includes a detailed overview of all indicators, their factors, and sources. Overall cohesion scores are calculated in two steps. First, the simple averages of the five individual and the five structural indicators are taken. Second, the two resulting scores for both dimensions are averaged again. For detailed information on methodology and calculations, read A blueprint for measuring European cohesion.
Can I use EU Cohesion Monitor scores for my work? Are the data sets available?
Yes. The data underlying and generated by the EU Cohesion Monitor can be accessed in its entirety and free of charge.
Please cite as follows: EU Cohesion Monitor, European Council on Foreign Relations, April 2019, available at www.ecfr.eu/eucohesionmonitor.
by Almut Möller -11th April, 2019
ECFR’s newly released Cohesion Monitor charts a decade of upheaval in Europe – and reveals that European cohesion is now, in fact, stronger than in the pre-crisis year of 2007.
by Christoph Klavehn -11th April, 2019
Learn about the the methodological framework of the EU Cohesion Monitor and the quest for better pan-European data.
by Timor Landherr & Oliver Unverdorben – 29th March, 2019
Only by comprehensively democratising the European project can we meaningfully strengthen European cohesion.
by Josef Janning – 6th February, 2018
EU’s overall cohesion increased between 2007 and 2017
11th May, 2016
How EU are we and what is European cohesion? Today we launch the EU Cohesion Monitor, a new instrument that assesses the willingness of Europeans to work together.
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The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. ECFR publications only represent the views of its individual authors.