Economic growth plays a crucial role in the policy process. Contrary to widespread opinion, economic growth is not seen as an end in itself in politics. However, it seems to be a necessary condition for the stabilization of essential social institutions. This is increasingly becoming an economic policy problem. First off, growth rates in the industrialized economies are increasingly declining. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that the social and ecological consequential costs of economic growth are even higher than the added value they generate. In addition, the question arises to what extent the solution to social problems such as climate change has to go hand in hand with a reduction in economic activity.
This brings the question of growth constraints to the forefront. Growth constraints prevent policies from being geared to social and environmental indicators. The project aims to provide a synthesis of existing growth constraints. Although several instruments to reduce growth constraints have already been developed, their concrete formulation remains diffuse. Their usefulness for reorienting the actions of political decision-makers and interest groups is thus limited. What is missing is a consistent synthesis. Our project aims to raise awareness of policy beyond growth at EU level through such a scientific synthesis coupled with targeted communication. In this way we want to pave the way for a strong environmental policy.
In concrete terms, the project:
a) develops policy proposals that address the problem of growth constraints (post-growth policies) and, with the newly gained freedom, are able to contribute to sustainable consumption patterns (sufficiency policies).
b) will organise co-creative policy labs and workshops with members of EU policy (Commission, Parliament, civil society) to raise awareness of the issue and the policies.
c) the project will create a website on which these policies and argumentation strategies will be made available to decision-makers and European civil society.
d) establishes a network of actors to investigate the potentials and possibilities of socio-ecological indicators in economic policy.