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A Think Piece on Achieving Europe's Goals at a Time of Economic Crisis

A Think Piece on Achieving Europe's Goals at a Time of Economic Crisis

"There is evidence to suggest that the route to lasting, inclusive growth lies in bolder policy action across the full range of policy areas under the EU's competence, rather than less."

This think piece draws together evidence on the state of the economy, society and the environment to show that the EU's multiple challenges may be tackled simultaneously by the use of policy changes to change the direction of market demand. Christian Hudson, the author of this document is Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute.

The piece convincingly argues that EU competitiveness and its ability to achieve political stability and social goals are held back by inertia in the policy framework. This reduces the rewards for innovation and weakens demand in the EU's domestic market, whilst giving insufficient market signals for firms to tackle Europe's societal challenges – like climate change and demographic change.

Using evidence from the OECD, and looking at the changed EU political economy, post-financial crisis and the arrival of the Juncker Commission, the piece suggests the institutional changes which can deliver the policy framework needed for a prosperous EU. It argues that the conditions are now right for systemic policy change. Indeed, this may be the only solution to the current political and economic discord in much of the EU. The document [pdf, 514 KB, English] is available for download.


Hudson, Christian 2015: A Think Piece on Achieving Europe's Goals at a Time of Economic Crisis. Ecologic Institute, Berlin.

39 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Dissatisfaction
1.2 A different form of Structural Market Reform
1.3 Thinking Ahead
2 Reassessing Europe's Challenges
2.1 Disappeared drivers of consumption growth
2.2 Falling Real Wages
2.3 Barriers to Private Investment
3 Where current economic policy falls short
3.1 The EU economy has structurally declining GDP growth
3.2 Saturated Markets hold back Innovation in productivity
3.3 Growth is not the solution to unemployment under current conditions
3.4 EU economic policy aims at short-term consumption, rather than building Europe's wealth and long-term success
3.5 The EU's market structures are not delivering societal goals
3.6 Current market structures hold back innovation and growth, and Europe's next generation of visionary businessmen
3.7 Economic problems have political solutions, but the European Institutions appear increasingly trapped
4 A sketch of a solution
4.1 Recognising 'the market' is a derived structure
4.2 Market reform
4.3 Aiming at Wealth and Productivity
4.4 What nature of reform is necessary?
4.5 Better Regulation
4.6 Potential advantages
4.7 Identifying potential goals
5 Implementation
5.1 A minor transformation of current EU policy activity
5.2 Identifying the hurdles
5.3 Negotiating the hurdles
5.4 Creating market reform plans to deliver investment
5.5 Structuring the market reform process
5.6 Step-wise progress
6 The window of opportunity
6.1 Necessary Conditions
6.2 These conditions are currently met
6.3 What is still needed
7 Conclusions

sustainability, think piece, development, , EU, European Union