We need a wellbeing economy that works for people and the planet

The EU is currently confronted with emergencies that are challenging its prevailing economic models. Slogans that until recently were used as the flagship of the European project, such as growth, jobs and prosperity, are no longer enough to speak to the hearts of the young generations of Europeans. The EU is under pressure to respond to a number of multifaceted challenges, which originated from a decade of economic and migration crises, social discontent and environmental degradation. It needs to reinvent itself fast, for the sake of its citizens.

This EESC opinion aims to define what “the sustainable economy we need” should look like by exploring a new vision of prosperity for people and the planet, bringing together economic, environmental and social dimensions in an integrated manner. The EESC is calling on the EU to propose new economic models, investment decisions to harness technological advances, and new indicators for the wellbeing economy, in order to regain citizens’ trust and belief.

With the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide, and the European Green Deal, with the goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050, the EU has finally made these issues its top priorities.

However, the most important thing is that this Green Deal becomes a real Green and Social Deal, making sure that the transition to a climate-neutral economy, which leaves no one behind, is just and coherent from A to Z. In fact, we need to rethink the whole system.

To ensure a just and green transition and implementation of the SDGs, we have to re-think our EU economy. ‘We must reboot the system but we need new software, not just an update!’ said rapporteur Peter Schmidt. Continue reading “We need a wellbeing economy that works for people and the planet”

European Commission and International Monetary Fund strengthen cooperation to support sustainable development

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on behalf of the European Union, and International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva concluded a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement that will boost their cooperation to tackle key challenges including climate change, and help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The European Union is the IMF’s main partner in capacity development since 2016.

To mark the signature of the new Agreement, President von der Leyen said: “The European Union and IMF are strong partners. We jointly want to find solutions to global issues, notably in Africa. Today’s new Agreement will allow us to focus better on climate change and digital challenges. I am particularly grateful to Kristalina Georgieva for her leadership. Together we are going to further strengthen our cooperation and partnership.”

IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, added: “We appreciate the EU’s leadership on sustainable development for all. We have a history of working together in building strong economic institutions to improve economic performance and the livelihoods of people in our partner countries. This Agreement will deepen our collaboration and help us do more together, especially where it matters the most — in low-income countries and fragile states.” Continue reading “European Commission and International Monetary Fund strengthen cooperation to support sustainable development”

Deal on an EU-wide classification system for sustainable investments

The European Commission has welcomed the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the creation of the world’s first-ever “green list” – a classification system for sustainable economic activities, or taxonomy.

This will create a common language that investors can use everywhere when investing in projects and economic activities that have a substantial positive impact on the climate and the environment. It will help scale up private and public investments to finance the transition to a climate-neutral and green economy, redirecting capital to economic activities and projects that are truly sustainable. This political agreement underlines the EU’s commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement and  reach climate-neutrality by 2050.

Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis for an Economy that Works for People,said: “This piece of legislation will be a game-changer in terms of tackling climate change, because it will enable billions in green investments to flow. Thanks to this green list, or taxonomy, investors and industry will for the first time have a definition of what is ‘green’, which will give a real boost to sustainable investments. That will be crucial for the European Green Deal to become a reality. My thanks to the European Parliament, Member States, the Finnish Presidency and to the rapporteurs for their steadfast negotiations, which have led to this compromise.” Continue reading “Deal on an EU-wide classification system for sustainable investments”