Today, May 15, a historic three-day conference entitled Beyond Growth 2023 begins in Brussels. The event, organized by the European Parliament with the support of more than 30 European organizations, aims to challenge conventional European Union policies and redefine societal goals, putting into practice the idea of a post-growth EU, adapted to a future that combines social welfare and viable economic development with respect for planetary boundaries.
The conference will be opened by the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament, Ursula Von der Leyen and Roberta Metsola, together with the President of the Green alliance, Philippe Lamberts. During the three-day event, representatives of conservative, liberal, green, socialist, socialist and left-wing parliamentary groups will be present.
More than 400 organizations and experts from all over Europe have written an open letter, in view of the event, in which they ask to face the social, environmental and political crises by adopting a welfare economy that allows humanity and the planet to prosper, not only to survive. In Spain, the letter was signed by Amigos de la Tierra, Ecologistas en Acción and eco-union.
The letter explains that the pursuit of endless economic growth reduces or cancels out the results of environmental policies. The current climate chaos and the collapse of the web of life on which our society depends constitute an existential threat to peace, water and food security and democracy. A highly topical issue in the Iberian Peninsula.
Likewise, the organizations point out that in high-income countries, post-growth does not mean having worse living conditions, but quite the opposite: it is about adopting in an orderly and democratic way the reduction in the use of resources and their fair distribution among all people, as well as the reduction of working time in a way that increases welfare and reduces environmental pressures, with the possibility of creating a sustainable future without continuous growth.
In turn, the letter calls on the European Union, its institutions and Member States to put in place European post-growth institutions and policies beyond growth based on the principles of biocapacity, equity, and well-being for all people.
Read or download the open letter here
– Teresa Rodríguez Pierrard (Amigos de la Tierra): firstname.lastname@example.org
– Roberto Herreros (Ecologistas en Acción): email@example.com
– Helena Fortea Colomé (eco-union): firstname.lastname@example.org