Rebuilding social justice  |  Publications  |  21.05.2012

EGP Policy Paper: The social dimension of the GND

After a year-long working group process, the European Green Party adopted a policy paper during its Spring Council in Copenhagen setting down the social dimension of the Green New Deal.

Text adapted from the policy paper

The European Green Party expressed its vision for a social Europe in 2008. However, at this moment, the financial crisis was just starting. Since then, this crisis has transformed into an economic and social one, which increased inequalities. Some groups have been particularly affected by the crisis, including the young, the low skilled, women, employees on temporary contracts, EU mobile workers, migrants and the elderly; the long term social impact of the crisis is not yet fully known. These profound transformations ask for a rethinking of the way our societies function from the local to the global level. 

The Green New Deal, a comprehensive process of transformation

While not being a ready-to-use model, the Green New Deal provides a set of values, ideas and measures that will enable well-being and prosperity for all to be developed in a sustainable framework and in the context of an ageing society and growing exclusion of young and elderly people alike, that needs concepts of intergenerational solidarity. It aims to provide a credible roadmap for our societies to respond to the challenges of the 21st century, where dominant political models, whether capitalist or socialist, neoliberal or populist, have failed.

The social dimension of the Green New Deal

On the one hand, the GND puts human beings at the centre of its objectives. Ultimately, what the GND is asking for is to ensure quality of life for all, in a way that is sustainable over time and for the planet. This requires audacious measures to ensure fairer redistribution of wealth and better inclusion of all in society.

Social elements are intrinsically part of the transformation process. The promotion of gender equality is an integral part of the Green New Deal and must therefore be taken into consideration in all policy proposals, including social policy.

On the other hand, to answer the environmental challenges, our economic system - the way we produce, consume, and exchange, has to be fundamentally revisited.

Overview

This paper is therefore not meant to present a complete catalogue of all the social policies that the European Greens are defending. The idea is rather to make explicit the links between the social dimension of the transformation and the economic and environmental ones. 

In the first part, it is demonstrated how the GND provides answers for work and participation in a society that is changing demographically, re-thinking the concept of working, creating new green jobs, eliminating precarious jobs in the labour market and enlarging the modalities of participation in society, the modalities of participation in society. In the second part, guidelines to reduce inequalities and tackle poverty are presented. The third and fourth parts deals with two structural features of the GND: social innovation and a sustainable distribution of working time.

 

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