On Thursday 30 November 2023, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, received the book “Capitalism Reconnected. Toward a Sustainable, Inclusive and Innovative Market Economy in Europe”, from the authors Jan Peter Balkenende (Professor Emeritus at Erasmus School of Law/Erasmus School of Economics) and Govert Buijs (Professor of Philosophy at the VU Amsterdam).
The book “Capitalism Reconnected. Toward a Sustainable, Inclusive and Innovative Market Economy in Europe” is the outcome of a broad consultation with international economists, a think tank of young economists, research agencies of political parties, entrepreneurs and social organisations.
Capitalism has gone astray. Today we face ecological exhaustion, persistent inequality, financialisation, stress on communities, short-termism, and new power concentrations. An avalanche of new economic thinking and a reorientation of European values show the way toward a different economy. A new perspective is necessary if we want to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and if we consider our planet as ‘Our Common Home,’ for present and future generations.
In Capitalism Reconnected, the authors Balkenende and Buijs bring together the most important insights of this new thinking. Moreover, they place the renewal of the economy in the broader context of societal, geopolitical and geo-economic developments. The book starts with a 'Diagnosis' section, followed by sections on Europe's 'Mission', and a 'Geopolitics' section. It concludes with recommendations.
Rediscovery and development of key European values
This book argues that European economies should be the initiators of a global transition toward a sustainable and inclusive world economy. Together, amid severe geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges, they need to develop their own perspective on what a good economy really is, in distinction to Chinese state capitalism and American big business capitalism. Crucially, this requires the rediscovery and development of key European values, such as human dignity, regenerative/circular thinking, inclusivity and co-creativity. Europe can present a coherent view on responsible capitalism and play a role as a global player for the Common Good in today’s and tomorrow’s world: an economy of hope that is sustainable for future generations.
About the authors
Professor Emeritus Jan Peter Balkenende held the chair of Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation for twelve years at Erasmus School of Law and Erasmus School of Economics. Before that, he served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2010. Balkenende currently devotes his time and energy to the topic of sustainability and circular economy on a national and international level. He is Chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, a partnership of eight Dutch multinationals committed to sustainable growth. In addition, he is External Senior Advisor to EY and a member of the Club de Madrid, the organisation of former heads of government of democratic nations. In October 2022 he was appointed by Royal Decree as Minister of State.
Govert Buijs is Professor of Philosophy of Culture, Politics and Organisation at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He also teaches philosophy at the VU School of Business & Economics. He holds the F.J.D. Goldschmeding chair in Economics in Relation to Civil Society, within the Philosophy department of the Faculty of Humanities of the VU, with the working area 'Social and economic innovation'. The central focus of Buijs' research is 'The Future of Capitalism'.