EU Commission experiments with Doughnut Economics

An updated story of how the European Commission is exploring ways to apply Doughnut Economics in policy processes

With 27 nations that are home to nearly 500 million people, the European Union (EU) represents one of the largest experiments in international cooperation and collaboration.

Since 2020 the European Commission, which drafts proposed legislation for the EU, has been exploring and experimenting with putting Doughnut Economics into practice. This 'rolling story' documents the stages and events of that journey, with the most recent presented first.

July 2022 Webinar - EU Doughnut: Taking stock, keeping the momentum, and farewell to Thomas Arnold
An inspiring group of 120+ leading sustainability practitioners in Europe gathered in this 2-hour informal webinar to celebrate the remarkable career of Thomas Arnold, Advisor Sustainable Development Goals and founding member of the Doughnut4EU group, as he retires from the active service of the European Commission.

"You have given me a space to think the unthinkable, to voice the uncomfortable, to spot the disruptive, and to see it become the transformative." – Thomas Arnold


An action-packed line-up of speakers also shared many insightful contributions taking stock and looking ahead on doughnut economics in the EU, together with other allied approaches in the wider movement for economic transformation.

The many speakers who joined the webinar celebrating Thomas Arnold's remarkable career in the European Commission.


Watch the webinar video below, and find the full programme of the action-packed event here, which also includes a host of useful references and contacts of changemakers working to transform the economic system of the EU and beyond. See also the moving and well-referenced farewell speech by Thomas and accompanying slides.

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March 2022: Webinar - Doughnut Economics and update for Policymakers
The European Commission and the ZOE Institute co-hosted a 2-hour webinar, Doughnut Economics: an update for Policymakers, which invited the DEAL Team and many others to present the many ways in which the concepts and tools of Doughnut Economics are relevant to the work of the Commission.

Some of the many concepts and tools presented in the webinar



Watch the webinar here, based on the following agenda and timings.

Agenda and timings in the webinar.



September 2020 - Resilient Europe conference, and Strategic Foresight report
Building on the internal momentum of the Doughnut4EU group, the ZOE Institute and partners organised a policy-focused Resilient Europe online conference in September 2020 with senior EU officials, which kicked off with a keynote address by Kate Raworth.

In this 16-minute presentation, EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič talks about the role of foresight in building a resilient EU, and reflects on whether the Doughnut could guide how the Commission thinks about the European Green Deal (Doughnut discussion starts at minute 14:00)

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In addition, the European Commission's first annual Strategic Foresight Report: Charting the Course Towards a More Resilient Europe, published in September 2020 notes that 'the Commission is also experimenting with Doughnut Economics'.


March 2020 - launch workshop of the Donut4EU group
In March 2020, the Donut4EU group, made up of civil servants working across the EC, organised a 2-day workshop to explore how the Doughnut could be 'downscaled' for use in the EU context at regional and/or local levels, and invited Kate Raworth and Andrew Fanning from DEAL, allies from the ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies, and others to participate.

Doughnut4EU workshop organisers with Kate Raworth and Andrew Fanning from DEAL, allies from the ZOE Institute, and others in March 2020


In this 90-minute recorded session, more than 100 commission officials accepted the invitation from the Doughnut4EU group to participate in a wide-ranging discussion on Doughnut Economics in the EU, following presentations by Kate (starts at 12:25) and Andrew (starts at 51:40).

The final report of the Doughnut4EU workshop in March 2020 is available here.





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    Davide Calvi

    Lisbon, Área Metropolitana de Lisboa, Portugal

    Learning more about regenerative concept and about the Doughnut Economics and how to implement it

    Sarah R. Filley

    Whitehall, Michigan, United States of America

    I spent 4 years researching the regenerative frameworks for a new prosperity index. HERE IT IS, the unifying theory I dreamed of.

    Kareen Urrutia

    Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, Guatemala

    I want to re-direct the economy in Guatemala. It's challenging task. We first need to deal with corruption and lack of awareness.

    Stephen Hinton

    Hofors kommun, Gävleborgs län, Sverige

    Finding ways to put doughnut into action, especially into the circular economy.

    Antonios Triantafyllakis

    Berlin, Germany

    Learning Designer, Gamification Coach, Basic Income Advocate, Climate Activist

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