European Union approach to increase quality of life
Today’s interest the quality of life may be tracked back to Abraham Maslow and his famous hierarchy of needs, which indicates the basic and advanced needs of human being. With the end of the second world war and later social moves against military actions and maintaining the human rights around the globe the issue quality of life started to be on every big organization mouths. In 2007 “Beyond GDP” EU conference started a public discussion and shifted attention from strictly economic indicator for measuring the nation progress, which is GDP, into more social-oriented one, for example HDI (Human Development Index).
Pomeranian region of Poland is considered one of the best living places in the country. According to the research in “Rzeczpospolita” Pomeranians are the happiest, camparing to the rest of the country. Data form “Nationwide Report of Social Development. Poland 2012” conducted by Ministry of Regional Development as part of United Nations Development Programme, Pomerania region appears in the top 3 regions according to Local Human Development Index. Furthermore to keep track of social happiness and search for room to improvements Pomerania region conducted own researches. In “Assessment of conditions and life quality by Pomerania citizens and their future” by Marshals Office of Pomerania Region we may find a confirmation of earlier quoted studies. It presents overall satisfaction of living conditions and quality in the region. One of the reason of this situation is capability of using given resources by administration and business to develop life quality in the region. As an example we may use the Jessica EU instrument that has been applied in Pomerania as one of the five regions in Poland. The goal was to help improve life standards in the region, mainly for revitalizing city space.
We may also compare the cities with best living standards in whole EU. To do that we can use “Quality Life in Cities: Perception Survey in 79 European Cities” by European Commission. However, all Polish cities surveyed (Krakow, Warsaw, Bialystok and Gdansk) have been ranked in the first half. Another interesting and different approach to assess life quality is the “Quality of Life in Europe: Conceptual approaches and empirical definitions” by walqing for European Commission which uses seemingly abstractive concepts of loving, having and being as one of the indicators.
Life quality as we can see is an important issue for European Union. Many programs and projects are funded to improve standards of living for different social groups.
Examples: QUALIST which is EU funded project to improve quality of life in small towns, as LEADER is for the rural areas; EduSenior tries to improve their life by developing the specific set of learning tools and “Ageing Well in the Information Society” Action Plan of the European Commission tries to develop and implement ICT technology against aging.
The variety of programmes supporting improvement of quality of life suggests strong interest in this particular field. With a new mechanisms supporting research and development initiatives, we may use a potential of Pomeranian region in being the best place to live in Poland by finding determinants of the higest results wellbeing, social satisfaction and probably the quality of life. Developed tools could be then implemented in other regions of the country to verify the versality of the model, which may be later applied in other EU countries.
Another words: we are trying to let everyone have a good day.
Authors: Jakub Wysocki, Maciej Mickiewicz, Agata Kukwa
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