ZOE identifies leverage points for sustainable prosperity

Bonn, 1 December 2019. Immediately after the new EU Commission has started its work, ZOE-Institute published a thesis paper with 10 leverage points to focus European economic policymaking on wellbeing and sustainability. The work was the basis for ZOE’s co-creative Policy Lab with members from the EU Commission on the 2 December in Brussels and will be used for further policy recommendations.

The agenda of the new Commission intends to adjust the concept of prosperity by focusing political action on sustainability and wellbeing. The EU’s success will be determined by how well its economic policy can respond to conflicting political goals and future uncertainties.

We defined 10 leverage points that can assist the pursuit of sustainable prosperity, ensuring that ecological and social goals are of the same importance as economic policy goals. In doing so, the EU can lead the way in reducing the dependency of policy-making on economic growth and therefore gain freedom in policy decisions.

Currently, the majority of economic policies are growth-policies in order to maintain economic and social stability.

As leverage points, among others ZOE recommends to

  • Lift social and environmental indicators to the same level as GDP e.g. by prioritizing associated SDGs in the European Semester and by accelerating the publication of necessary data
  • Move from evidence-based to transformative policymaking by using co-creative multi-stakeholder involvement.
  • Improve coherence between policy areas by adjusting policy processes and decision processes.

The ten formulated leverage points are a result of over 30 interviews with people involved with EU politics, talks with numerous experts, as well as in-depth research. However, the list does not provide final answers but serves as inspiration on Europe’s path to sustainable prosperity. Here you can read the whole thesis paper.