How to defend a post-growth Europe?
To answer these questions, BlueLink has joined a project implenented by the Green European Foundation (GEF) entitled The Geopolitics of a Post-Growth Europe. Green policies that respect planetary boundaries while allowing the Global South to develop appear incompatible with further economic growth in the EU. This calls for a compelling narrative about a future in which we consume more frugally but live better together, as put forward by the de/post-growth community. However, amid a shifting global landscape and war in Ukraine, the end of GDP growth in the EU would also raise important geopolitical questions, as such power tends to be measured in wealth and military capacity. Can a post-growth Europe build a different kind of strength and resilience?
The project explores the tensions between de-growth / post-growth and the present geopolitics dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine, a country on the way to EU integration. It aims to spark a conversation between critics of economic growth and progressive thinkers on foreign and security policy, who now often operate in separate circuits. It seeks solutions beyond naïve anti-militarism on one hand, or the convenient belief in green growth on the other.
The project features at least three closed expert meetings, eight seminars or webinars hosted in various partner countries, including Bulgaria, and two workshops delivered at GEF’s European Green Academy and the Zagreb International Degrowth Conference.
Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks will coordinate the desk research with support from all partners and release two podcast interviews, and each partner will conduct and translate at least two twin interviews with post-growth and security policy experts and practitioners in their country. An online multimedia and discussion platform will publish preliminary outcomes and provide a venue for further input to the project.
BlueLink will contribute to the analytical process by holding twin interviews with green-minded politicians and advocates, exploring their perspectives to nexus between de-growth/post-growth and geopolitical pressures to increase security spending. The Sofia-based civic action network will also host two academic-practitioner workshops on the project’s matter: a national one for Bulgaria; and a regional one for Central and Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
BlueLink will also host a thematic session to gather the perspectives of human rights and environment defenders from the Global South on the project’s subject.
The best interviews and key findings will be gathered in a final publication, to be published in autumn 2023. Besides the English version, there will be translations in five other languages coordinated by the relevant partners, and the preface and selected interviews may vary between these different adaptations. The project will conclude with three publication launch events in French, Spanish, and English, foreseen for November/December 2023.
The project The Geopolitics of a Post-Growth Europe is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks, Fondation de l’Ecologie Politique, Etopia, Transición Verde, BlueLink Foundation, Center for Green Politics, and Green House think tank, and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.
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