Aggregate synthetic index of disparities, cohesion, convergence, disparities, measurement
The elimination of differences between the less and most developed EU Member States and support of European territory cohesion are long-term goals of the European Union (EU). Nevertheless there is no common approach for their measurement and evaluation at either European or national level. The paper evaluates the level of convergence and cohesion in the Visegrad Four countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) in the period 2004–2010, on the basis of an aggregate synthetic index of disparities computing by two selected mathematical and statistical methods. The theoretical part of the paper defines the concept of cohesion and disparities in the EU and focuses on the possible methods of convergence measurement and cohesion evaluation. The empirical part of the paper deals with the measurement and comparison of Visegrad Four convergence through the aggregate synthetic index of disparities. The aggregate synthetic index of disparities is calculated on the basis of the point method and standardized variable method. According to the development of disparities (a convergence or divergence trend), the level of cohesion achieved by the Visegrad Four countries is evaluated.