Sustainable European welfare societies Assessing linkages between social and environmental policy

New publication in Critical Social Policy about sustainable welfare in the EU

by Mi Ah Schoyen

Max Koch, Anne Therese Gullberg, Mi Ah Schoyen and Bjorn Hvinden write about sustainable welfare in the EU in a new commentary in Critical Social Policy

The full text of the article can be downloaded from the Critical Social Policy website.


The commentary addresses the scope for synergy between climate change policy and social policy in the European Union (EU) from a ‘sustainable welfare’ perspective. The emerging sustainable welfare approach is oriented to the satisfaction of human needs within ecological limits, in an intergenerational and global perspective. While the overall goals of EU climate policy and EU welfare policies largely reflect this orientation, there are significant differences in policy priorities. A ‘policy auditing’ approach towards sustainable welfare defines critical thresholds for matter and energy throughput to identify how much room there is for economic and societal development. However, the EU refrains from prioritizing environmental over other, especially economic, goals and displays a remarkable degree of optimism in relation to the extent to which one can make these different policy goals compatible.

Full reference:

Koch M, Gullberg AT, Schoyen MA, et al. (2016) Sustainable welfare in the EU: Promoting synergies between climate and social policies. Critical Social Policy 36(4): 704–715. DOI: http://10.1177/0261018316654614

This post created by:

Mi Ah Schoyen
Senior Researcher

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