The RIA should support the transition towards a “sustainability paradigm”, identifying the socio-economic inequalities and the distribution of benefits of economic growth between individuals, also taking into account the environmental impacts and limits of such growth. The action should use macro and/or micro data to identify the distributive effects of economic growth in terms of income and wealth, identifying which population groups benefitted or not and the related determinants. Proposals should cover a broad range of European countries (also the regional dimension where appropriate), as well as a sufficient number of non-European countries (e.g. from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America) for ensuring an international comparison of the analysis, thus international cooperation is strongly encouraged. Proposals should include any potential relationship that the transition towards a “sustainability paradigm” might have with notions of environmental justice and injustice, seeking out any individuals who might be negatively impacted by the transition and ensure the inclusion of their perspectives. The analysis may take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Research efforts should identify and propose indicators to measure well-being and sustainable development, accounting also for the measurement framework in the “beyond GDP” approaches. In particular, proposals should reconcile the new sustainable development goals (no poverty, environmental and climate hazards, societal cohesion and inclusion, good health, human well-being and gender equality) with the standard framework (productivity and consumption as the main objectives and metrics of economic growth) improving the critical understanding of the trade-offs and synergies. Project activities can also include the development of indicators for that purpose. The proposals should address the following questions: Is it possible to reconcile sustainability targets with productivity growth? How is social and economic inclusion and inequality affected? How can we drive the transition from a carbon-based linear, not sustainable economy to a carbon-free circular, sustainable well-being economy? Research may develop a platform in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to promote integrated thinking by combining financial, social and environmental returns, including disciplines as finance, economics, sustainability and environmental studies, strategic management, sociology and law.
Finally, proposals should assess possible ways to adopt such new economic development framework, identifying policy options and regulatory solutions to address the trade-offs and synergies for the transition towards a sustainable and competitive development path (i.e. competitive sustainability), ensuring economic and social inclusion for more resilient societies.
International cooperation with partners from third countries, e.g. with Africa is encouraged.