Toward a Well-Being Europe

  • Éloi LaurentEmail author


The European Union (EU) has two very good reasons to embrace the well-being and sustainability transition: historically, it has built itself as a normative and post-materialistic power; in the current geopolitical context, it must take its “fate into its own hands” and depart from the US where the obsession of growth, profit, and finance is harming the well-being of citizens (a destruction tangible with the alarming degradation of inequality, health, trust in democracy, and environmental quality). Yet, there is a real European paradox regarding well-being indicators since the great recession: on the one hand, the EU has tried to capitalize on the discontent with standard economics and to embrace the “beyond GDP” agenda. On the other, it has become even more rigid in applying its ill-advised targets. This chapter hence advocates a two-step approach to reenchant the European project and move toward a “well-being Europe”: first, put well-being and sustainability (not public finance discipline, growth, or finance) at the center of European policy; second, build a social-ecological state calibrated for the early twenty-first century where the inequality and ecological crises feed one another.


Well-being Sustainability Well-being transition “Beyond GDP” 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OFCE, Sciences PoParisFrance
  2. 2.School of Management and Innovation Sciences PoParisFrance
  3. 3.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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