The objective of this 4-year project is to provide the analytical basis for a socio-ecological transition in Europe: the change to a new growth path with smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as is envisaged in the EU 2020 strategy. In order to support the transition, we analyse the need, the feasibility and best practice for change, specifying the institutional changes needed at all policy levels to implement these options. The old and new challenges Europe is facing define the starting point: globalisation, new technologies and postindustrialisation, demographic change and ecology in the context of welfare systems that have come under stress due to high public deficits. The vision is that Europe will become a role model for a "high road growth path" which actively incorporates social and ecological goals, employment, gender and cultural aspects in an ambitious, forward looking way while continuing to be competitive in a globalised world.
To achieve these objectives, the consortium will carry out and synthesise robust research in research areas covering the challenges to the welfare system, the biophysical dimension of socio-economic development, the identification of drivers towards socio-ecological transition, the role of governance and institutions on the European as well as the regional level. The consortium will benefit from ongoing dialogue with international experts in the form of expert panels and sounding boards, taking into account their views on the direction and feasibility for this new growth path.
The project will be carried out by a consortium of 34 partners from universities and research institutes with international and interdisciplinary expertise. It represents 12 member states. High level Scientific and Policy Boards will monitor the analysis and the policy conclusions to guarantee the impact and dissemination of the results.