EU Policy Roundtable and Workshops: Assessing a Green and Just Economic

Co-hosted by ZOE Institute and Club of Rome in cooperation with New Economics Foundation and VividEconomics

With the assessment of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs), policymakers are confronted with a complex challenge: to stabilise the economy in the short term while promoting the necessary systemic changes to achieve the ambitious goals of the Green Deal.  However, the NRRPs present a unique opportunity to strengthen the resilience of Europe’s economies, societies and ecosystems for a future with higher levels of human wellbeing and a healthy natural environment.

A green economic recovery that creates jobs, restores productivity and contributes to societal wellbeing while reducing biophysical impact is possible. However, the concrete policy design of transformative measures within the recovery plans will be critical to successfully “bounce forward” and pave the way for long-term systemic change.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that it is better for both society and the economy to prevent crises rather than react to them. Thus, the opportunity to develop member states’ NRRPs should be used to mitigate potentially disastrous crises stemming from climate change or biodiversity loss. However, while some draft NRRPs are quite ambitious, many leave room for improvement to sufficiently preserve nature and biodiversity.

To help guide policymakers in creating NRRPs for positive systemic change, ZOE-Institute, together with Vivid Economics and the New Economics Foundation, are developing comprehensive assessment frameworks for the NRRPs. At the core stands a multi-criteria methodology that aims at building a basis to define policies that bring about the necessary systemic change by contributing to three policy objectives: a nature-positive recovery, a just transition and circular economy. 


Against this backdrop, the Policy Roundtable led by the Club of Rome will be an opportunity for high-level decision-makers to:

  • Unpack the key tensions for nature-based solutions in the economic recovery agenda – exploring the political barriers and opportunities for delivering a nature-positive recovery taking into consideration the Club of Rome’s trust building exercises around unpacking wicked problems with the European Commission;
  • Explore how to successfully assess different and interlinked economic, social and environmental policy measures as part of the transition policies at a European and national level;
  • Explore how to create policy space and measures to generate long-term systemic impacts in the EU which contribute to a nature-positive recovery, the circular economy and a just transition, and build greater resilience for future crises.

Assessment Workshops

In parallel to the Nature-Positive Recovery Policy Roundtable, the ZOE-Institute will lead Assessment Workshops on two assessment frameworks for the NRRPs. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore, discuss and provide feedback on the Greenness of Stimulus Index assessing NRRPs, developed by Vivid Economics and a prototype of the Recovery Index for People and Nature, developed by the New Economics Foundation and the ZOE-Institute, to make these frameworks as useful as possible for policymakers.

Assessment workshop participants include colleagues from the European Commission’s Secretariat-General, DG for Economic and Financial Affairs, DG for Environment, DG for Climate Action, DG for Regional and Urban Policy, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG for International Partnerships, the Joint Research Centre and EUROSTAT.

Key results from the discussions around the frameworks will be presented at the end of the event.


14:00 – 14:15  
Welcome by Club of Rome and ZOE-Institute
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
Jakob Hafele, Co-founder and Managing Director, ZOE. Institute for future-fit economies
14:15 – 14:20  
Opening remarks
Mario Nava, Director-General of DG REFORM
14:20 – 14:30  
Introduction to Assessment Frameworks
William Davies, Consultant, New Economics Foundation Jason Eis, Executive Director, Vivid Economics
14:30 – 16:00
Nature-Positive Recovery Policy Roundtable
Led by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
Initial reflections by the Recovery and Resilience Task Force
Assessment Workshops
Led by the ZOE Institute, with support of Vivid Economics on the Greenness of Stimulus Index (GSI) and the New Economics Foundation on the Recovery Index for People and Nature.
16:00 – 16:25
Presentation of key results from the Nature-Positive Recovery Policy Roundtable and the Assessment workshops
– Policy Roundtable report back: Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
– Workshop sessions report back:
  • Charlie Dixon and Jeffrey Beyer, Vivid Economics
  • William Davies and Chaitanya Kumar, New Economics Foundation Consulting
  • Elizabeth Dirth, ZOE. Institute for future-fit economies
16:25 – 16:30  
Next steps and closing 
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
Jakob Hafele, Co-founder and Managing Director, ZOE. Institute for future-fit economies

Roundtable Participants

  • Mario Nava, Director-General, DG for Structural Reform Support
  • Yvon Slingenberg, Director, DG Climate Action
  • Barbara Kauffmann, Director, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
  • Eric von Breska, Director, Recovery and Resilience Task Force
  • Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director, DG Environment
  • Marius Vaščega, Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius
  • Marlene Rosemarie Madsen, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner Elisa Ferreira
  • Ruth Reichstein, Policy Analyst, I.D.E.A
  • Sami Andoura, Team Leader, I.D.E.A
  • Jock Martin, Head of Integrated Assessments for Sustainability, European Environment Agency
  • Thomas Arnold, Advisor to the Director-General, DG for Research and Innovation
  • Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit, DG for Regional and Urban Policy
  • Carel Cronenberg, Associate Director, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Giles Noblet, Principal Adviser in the Directorate General International and European Relations, European Central Bank
  • Stephen O’Driscoll, Head of the Environment, Climate and Social Office, European Investment Bank
  • Eva Mayerhofer, Senior Environment and Biodiversity Specialist, European Investment Bank
  • Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
  • Tom Jess, Program Manager, Club of Rome
  • Jakob Hafele, Co-founder and Managing Director, ZOE. Institute for future-fit economies
  • Lucy Almond, Director and Chair, Nature4Climate

March 19, 2021 @ 14:00 - 16:30