Because it measures the production level of a country, the Gross Domestic Product is one of the commonly used indicators in the European Union. In the context of Cohesion policy, the regional
level gives an overview of disparities in the core of European Union and in neighbouring
countries. Improving the efficiency of cohesion policy translates as integrating approach of
European policy and better governance from local to Europe. The Gross Domestic Product per
capita in this context is an instrument for measuring the effectiveness of Territorial Cohesion
• This map produced for the Green paper on territorial Cohesion: 'Turning territorial
diversity into strength', represents the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (in
Euros) by region in Europe, in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and in the
countries of Central and Eastern Europe including Russia. Areas shown in orange
are characterized by a GDP per capita above average of European Union (EU27 =
100). Conversely, regions shown in green are characterized by a GDP lower than the
European Union average. The map shows a centre/periphery model: the further
away a region is from the pentagon of the main metropolitan areas (London - Paris -
Milan - Munich - Hamburg), the lower its GDP is, except for Nordic countries. It also
can be noted that border regions of Southern and Eastern EU have a GDP (Euros)
• The presentation of Southern and Eastern neighbourhood is very interesting as it
suggests that, in the future, more linkage could be developed between regional
policy and neighborhood policy. It is indeed difficult to imagine that convergence of
GDP per capita (or other criteria) could be realised on the whole territory of EU
without partnership with regions located immediately outside.
• The use of GDP per capita in Euros increases the contrasts, generally slighted by
the usual maps of regional policy in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
References: DG REGIO, Commission Staff Working Document: annexes accompanying the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion
– Turning territorial diversity into strength, 2008, page 22 (Map 12).