31.07.2019

Sustainable prosperity - made in Europe

Not a day goes by without a press report on climate change. At the same time, social polarisation is increasing in the EU. But the successes of tackling climate change and social polarisation are still to be seen. This leads to the question of how social and ecological goals can be included in the focus of European economic policy. ZOE is conducting this debate at various points with the EU Commission.

Today, economic modelling of policy impacts is particularly central to policy design. Politics faces the challenge of taking into account very different social, ecological and economic objectives. In order to counter this complexity, new indicators are needed in economic modelling. In two research projects funded by the Federal Environment Agency, ZOE is investigating what this means in concrete terms. In autumn 2018 as well as in May 2019 Dr. Christoph Gran, Oliver Richters and Jonathan Barth had the opportunity to present the research results to the EU Commission. Since then, ZOE has been in regular contact with members of the Commission.

In October, Jonathan Barth will attend the Beyond Growth Conference organised in the context of the Finnish EU Presidency. Part of the event will be the presentation of the recently published report “Decoupling debunked”. In addition, ZOE is planning a co-creative policy lab with members of EU policy in November as part of the “Policymaking beyond growth” project. The purpose of these events is for EU policy to place social and environmental objectives at the heart of its economic policy.

Our activities are meeting productive ground: A fair and accelerated sustainability transition will become one of the key topics in the coming commission. It is part of the new presidents’ program to refocus the European Semester on the SGDs and implement a Green New Deal. This shows us how important it is to further intensify the debate on socio-ecological transformation in economic policy.

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