Civil society actors from six European countries present their policy brief on Sustainable Growth in Europe. The Thinking Lab developed six main policy recommendations focusing on two key priorities.
Traditional concepts of growth and wealth do not always deliver benefits to all societal groups. The principle of sustainable well-being, which also includes social and environmental factors, is therefore better suited to measure prosperity.
This is one of the main conclusions of the “Thinking Lab on Sustainable Growth” of the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE project. Building on this, the transnational group of authors, consisting of civil society actors from six European countries, developed concrete policy recommendations for improving sustainable well-being in Europe. The recommendations touch upon, inter alia, new opportunities in e-mobility as well as the untapped potential of the European Union as a key driver of sustainable well-being in Europe through the support of local initiatives and innovations.
Overview of the Policy Brief
The Thinking Lab’s work focused on two key priorities: Firstly, one focus was set on the background of debt, inequality, and unemployment in Southern Europe. The second focus area was climate, energy and environmental policy, arguing that a Europe exposed to uncontrolled climate change will not be able to deliver sustainable well-being for its citizens.
Policy Recommendations of the Thinking Lab on Sustainable Growth:
- Make social investment a priority of the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework debate
- Foster Local Energy Communities (LECs) especially in structurally weak regions throughout Europe
- Strengthen the concept of ‘Smart Islands’ through financial support
- Expand the European Commission’s role as a Governance Hub for Climate Change Adaptation
- Promote renewable energies in Europe and better connect electricity grids
- Promote e-mobility (Europe-wide charging station network) and foster the EU industrial policy.
Background: The DIALOGUE ON EUROPE Project
The European Union has been affected by a multi-dimensional crisis for almost a decade. This period has shown that the traditional political responses of international summitry have reached the limits of their impact. The current and upcoming challenges faced by the European project can only be confronted through a strong and connected civil society across the continent.
The trans-European project DIALOGUE ON EUROPE, an initiative by Das Progressive Zentrum supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, took up this idea by bringing together young dedicated civil society actors from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to start a transnational dialogue about Europe’s most pressing challenges.
In four so-called Thinking Labs, young thinkers developed policy recommendations over the course of two and a half years for four main policy fields: Migration & Integration, Populism, Social Cohesion and Sustainable Growth.
The results of this exchange can be found in four policy briefs that aim at stimulating and enriching the debate on the future agenda of the European Union.