Growth, Wellbeing and Quality of Life
By Daniela Kolbe, Member of the German Parliament (“Bundestag”) and Chair of the Study Commission on ‘Growth, Wellbeing and Quality of Life’.
The ‘Beyond GDP’ debate concerns not only civil society and international organizations but is also discussed within individual national societies, including Germany. Since the beginning of 2011, a Study Commission, a parliamentary body, comprising 17 members of parliament and 17 experts nominated by the parliamentary groups, has been working on critical questions about the outcomes of German economic activity and the need for reform. On the basis of a mandate, passed by the German Parliament, the Commission investigates the following topics: the importance of economic growth, developing a new indicator of wellbeing, the possibilities and limitations of decoupling economic growth from resource use, sustainable regulatory policies, and finally the field of labour market, patterns of consumption and lifestyles. In addition to the working sessions of each thematic project group, the full Commission convenes a roundtable discussion once a month. A comprehensive report containing concrete recommendations will be published at the end of the legislative term in 2013.