Europe's Sustainability Puzzle

Broadening the Debate
8 April 2019

Delivering on sustainable development is about far more than ticking the boxes of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taking the EU and the world on a sustainable path requires a deep economic and societal transformation across the board. Above all, it means recognising the unique sustainability struggles that Europe faces: those of a highly-advanced economy in which citizens have become accustomed to certain levels of social protection and private consumption, but which today faces significant structural challenges: not just climate change, air pollution and loss of biodiversity, but also ageing populations, fiscal unsustainability, depressed productivity growth, high levels of unemployment and the spread of more precarious forms of work.

This paper zooms in on some of the paradoxes that lie at the heart of Europe's current socio-economic model and explores possible solutions to ensure its long-term sustainability.

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