Chapter 9 Towards an EU eco-social agenda? From Europe 2020 to the European Green Deal
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This chapter explores the potential for the European Union to promote synergies between environmental and social policy goals to implement an eco-social agenda. We analyze the three overarching strategies, Europe 2020, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Green Deal, identifying the approach of these strategies and linking the approach to the policy goals and the strategies' governance arrangements. Based on qualitative research methods, we make three main conclusions: First, sustainable development is the official eco-social agenda of the EU on paper, but in concrete terms the EU is following a green growth approach, prioritizing economic growth and ecological modernization. Second, intra- and inter-institutional eco-social coordination as well as coordination with societal stakeholders occur ad-hoc. Finally, the emphasis on just transition has grown considerably over time and the most recent initiatives are paving the way for a more comprehensive eco-social approach.