The devilish correlation in the European Union

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There is growing evidence that the European development model is depleted. Such is the case that in the latest European political cycle (that began with Ursula von der Leyen’s term of office), attempts have been made to drive its structural change based on the triple transition: green, digital and social. These three major processes are immersed in an intense political dispute that will be defined in one way or another in the upcoming years. Now is the time to create and showcase alternative views of the type of society we want to transition to.

The devilish correlation refers to the fact that, in the European Union, progress in the four transitions (ecological, socio-economic, democratic and feminist) has historically led to increased planetary pressures, until reaching the current point where the sustainability of life is at risk.

Countries with better results in the transitions, such as Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland or Sweden, tend to have worse planetary impacts scores. In turn, countries with lower ecological impacts, such as Hungary, Bulgaria or Romania, tend to perform worse on transitions. This contradiction raises the question of whether the European development model is compatible with the sustainable development of the planet.

This is the unavoidable question for the European Union: showing that it is possible to live better, with prosperity and rights, without condemning the entire planet to unsustainability and injustice.

The report The devilish correlation in the European Union. Analysis of policy coherence in Member States for sustainable development explores in depth how the policy dynamics between Member States are conditioning the direction of transitions in a critical way. And it points out interesting recommendations that, based on policy coherence, can guide the European model towards a common horizon of rights and care of the planet.

You can download the study here (PDF).

You cand download the executive summary here (PDF).

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