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Dr Charlotte Godziewski (Aston, Sociology and Policy)
Towards a Healthy European Semester through ‘Green and Inclusive Growth’? A Research Agenda
The notion that health is shaped by broader socioeconomic conditions is widely accepted. One of the challenges to achieving health-promoting policy coherence, lies in the necessity for non-health governance spaces to recognise (and act upon) their indirect health impacts. Efforts to promote such policy coherence have pointed to the need for the economy itself to place wellbeing, health, and sustainability at its centre. This shift towards broader, more comprehensive, and multidimensional wellbeing agendas is visible in concepts like ‘wellbeing economy’, and ‘inclusive growth’. The European Green Deal, for example, is the new growth strategy of the European Commission, and it emphasises the need for economic growth to be environmentally sustainable as well as fair and inclusive. Sustainability and inclusivity, according to the strategy, is to be reflected in the EU economic governance, including the fiscal coordination cycle called the ‘European Semester’. The concept of ‘green and inclusive growth’ however, is contested and remains vague. This agenda outlines the need for more research into the discursive and ideational dynamics that shape the meaning of what constitutes ‘inclusive growth’, to better understand the concrete ways in which it is supposed to improve public health determinants through economic governance.