Event Summary: “Economy For The Common Good: A Sustainable Economic Model Geared Towards Social Cohesion”
Posted on December 11, 2015 by Alicia Trepat Pont | News
On the 19th of February 2015, the European Economic and Social Committee decided to draw up an own-initiative opinion on the Economy for the Common Good (ECG), which was adopted on September 17th by 144 votes to 13 with 11 abstentions.
After achieving this relevant milestone and in order to tackle the goal of a European Ethical Common Market, a series of events are being organised to spread the knowledge on the ECG and foster its implementation.
On the 10th of December 2015, an event was organized in the European Parliament to discuss on the ECG:
Ramón Jáuregui – MEP Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and host of this event– started the session rhetorically asking himself and the attendants if this proposal of the Economy for the Common Good was realistic or only a naïve idea.
He thinks it is a necessity.
CSR started tackling the issue of economics and values over a decade ago, but the ECG provides a deeper understanding and implementation of these ethical principles. Moreover, we live in a new society: citizens demand dignity at work, equality, human rights and transparency. It is not clear yet what the balance is between the dissatisfaction of civil society and the real influence this can have, but it is a fact that consumers have an increasing power to influence companies and institutions.
The ECG takes companies – the engine of our economy – as the catalyzer of change for a better society.
Those were the main statements of Mr Jáuregui, that were followed by Christian Felber, the ECG movement founder, he explained the origin of the ECG, the disadjustment between the foundations of our economy and the current practices which lead to a high dissatisfaction of the civil society. The ECG proposes a remarkable adjustment: it believes in a market economy, but with new rules. It takes the capital accumulation away from the main goal of the economy and replaces it by the Common Good while substituting competitiveness for collaboration.
It proposes a model that allows for a real social adjustment of the market: by playing with these rules, Adam’s Smith illusion of an “automatic” adjustment for social justice, would become true.
Sven Giegold – MEP The Greens, European Free Alliance – started his argument highlighting the current lack of reconciliation of the market economy with the ethical principles on which it was founded.
He talked about the different levels of the ECG: the theoretical conception and the practical implementation through the ECG Matrix.
Mr Giegold thought of the model as a necessary needle for politicians to be reminded about the fact that the Social Market Economy that Europe is supposed to be is inexistent.
Carlos Trías – the editor of EESC opinion on the Economy for the Common Good – stated that CSR should no longer be voluntary because of a considerable gap between what is declared by companies, governments and institutions and what is really being done. The ECG aims at unifying indicators, introducing comparability and taking into account the externalities into the lifecycle of products and services. The ECG is a serious proposal to adjust these matters and foster and achieve a higher impact.
This intervention closed the first roundtable and introduced the second one which had the focus on the implementation of the ECG principles:
Rafael Climent – Economic Advisor Of The Valencia Regional Government – talked about the Valencia region, in Spain, which is currently suffering a very tough reality, after decades of mismanagement and several last years of focus on the immediate economic benefits. The only way to redirect this situation is through values, through collaboration, coordination and focusing on personal responsibility. As Francisco Álvarez – Dg Economy, Entrepreneurship And Cooperatives Of The Valencia Regional Government – also highlighted. It is necessary, despite difficulty, to take action: stop being observers and start contributing to this positive change. We all have the responsibility to achieve welfare for all of us.
Marcos Eguiguren – Executive Director Global Alliance For Banking On Values – offered the vision and application of these principles in the banking world. Banks have a huge impact potential, a multiplier effect if they invest in companies that have a focus in long term, that invest through the triple bottom line approach and that have the values truly embedded in their organisation (among others). Ethical banking is a decisive catalyzer towards the transition to a Social Market Economy.
Finally, Teresa Karayel – ECG Pioneer. Representative Of The Citizens Foundation Palatinade (“Bürgerstiftung Pfalz”) – went through her experience while implementing the ECG principles in the foundation she participates in. Her wish is that EU representatives really take into account the will of the people of taking real care of the welfare of future generations.
Pedro Ortún –DG Growth Senior Adviser, European Commision – shared some closing words on the role of the EU institutions on the achievement of social, environmental and economic goals.
All these valuable contributions made the 10th of December event in the European Parliament on the ECG a highly interesting one, opening a door to future collaborations and a way to a real Social Market Economy in Europe.
Tags: Common Good, Economy for the Common Good, European Parliament, Events, Roundtables, Sustainable Economic Model