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ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies is pleased to share the second edition of its newsletter, the Future-fit Economies Update. Below you will find a collection of the latest policy updates, key developments, and a roundup of relevant resources.

Key Developments
  • To cushion the impact of the pandemic, most EU Member States have accumulated large levels of public debt, which was only possible because the EU's fiscal rules are currently suspended until 2023 due to the activation of the general escape clause. With the public consultation on the review of the EU economic governance framework at the end of last year, the European Commission gave the go-ahead for the reshaping of the regulatory framework for public finances. This is a vital discussion, as much is at stake: The EU Green Deal needs massive investments and public funds are central to the success of the green transition. However, a regression to the current EU fiscal rules would mean that some countries would have to drastically reduce their debt levels. It is crucial to avoid that safeguarding debt sustainability has negative consequences for the social cohesion in EU Member States, as we have seen with austerity measures in the past. We have provided our inputs to the ongoing public debate on the economic governance review. You can find our policy brief that summerises our key comments and recommendations here. Our next analysis will look at the impact of different reform scenarios of the EU fiscal framework on the debt and budget deficit of three Member States. Stay tuned! 

  • As the EU faces a hard time being the global role model we need for peace, stability, cohesion, and cooperation amongst States, its faith appears to be in the hands of the new German coalitionShould the EU debt rules apply again from 2023? While SPD, Greens and FDP still appear to be avoiding the topic, we have shared our analysis on the matter. (article in Die Zeit, German only) 

  • On our path to sustainable management and the achievement of overall economic growth, one of the central questions to address is how the state can change the rules in such a way that companies themselves pursue and maximize social and ecological goals, instead of placing shareholder value above all other corporate goals. Jakob Hafele shared an interesting view on the matter.

  • After the adoption of the 8th EAP, where the EU Commission needs to develop a set of metrics that goes beyond GDP, Jonathan Barth has highlighted what is at stake in an opinion piece on tracking progress to a wellbeing economyEnd of last year, the ZOE Institute has designed its Compass towards 2030 inspired by Doughnut Economics to contribute to mainstreaming the beyond GDP agenda at the EU and national level as a cross-cutting priority.
ZOE Announcements

We are happy to share with you our newest policy brief on Housing in a Climate-Neutral European instalment in the publication series Policy Pathways towards 1.5-Degree Lifestyleswhich was carried out in exchange with scientific experts and policymakers during the ZOE Institute’s Policy Lab 2: Shaping changes in the built environment to meet 1.5 Degree Lifestyles, co-hosted with DG GROW in October 2021. The results of the Policy Labs are available here. 

You can expect more insights to come on the 1.5-Degree Lifestyles project. Stay tuned!

Resilience relies in the ability to bounce forward, not to bounce back to the old normal. We have shared our views during the EUIndustryDays, on Resilience and Transformation in the context of the construction sector, as it deals with market fluctuations, environmental concerns and digitalisation. 

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