How to re-imagine transitional governance ?

How to re-imagine transitional governance ?


Integration within the EU has proceeded through the pursuit of a limited number of major projects, each characterized by certain types of governance and each requiring a rebalancing of power between the EU institutions and between the EU member states and Brussels.

Though they have brought important benefits to EU citizens, none of these mobilizing projects has yet created a genuine acceptance of the European public sphere among citizens. Moreover, successive EU enlargements have increased diversity within the EU, making it ever harder to achieve European integration through regulatory and policy tools that seek to uniformize European societies.

The transition to sustainable societies can take this lesson to heart and forge a new pact between the EU and its citizens. The EU5P conference is based on the conviction that support for social innovation and local experimentation are key, as tools to accelerate collective learning.

We must recognize the limits of our ability both to predict future trends and to identify in advance which solutions will work best in specific contexts, and we must start to see difference in the EU as an asset, not a liability. This intuition is at the heart of theories of governance that emphasize the need to learn from diversity and to promote experimentalism within the EU, not least by prioritizing tools that support social innovation.

All across Europe, people are inventing new ways of relating to one another, of transforming their environment, and of making the shift to resilient and sustainable societies.

  • How can such innovations be supported in the multilevel system of governance of the EU?
  • How can their dissemination be facilitated?
  • And how to learn from both successes and failures in social experimentation?

Read more:

Presentation to EU5P conference: Experimentalism and EU5P: A Relation with an Ambivalence by Charles Sabel and Jonathan Zeitlin
Presentation to EU5P conference: How can social innovations and new democratic practices contribute to the transition? by Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Olivier De Schutter and Marc Maesschalck.
Lifestyles and carbon footprint. Prospective on lifestyles in France towards 2050 and carbon footprint (Modes de vie et empreinte carbone. Prospective des modes de vie en France à l’horizon 2050 et empreinte carbone) , Cahiers du CLIp, Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (IDDRI), Sciences Po, Paris, 2012 (in French)
Europe in Transition: Local Communities Leading The Way To A Low-carbon Society
Empowering People, Driving Change: Social Innovation in the European Union, Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA), European Commission, 2011
Study on Social Innovation, paper prepared for the Bureau of European Policy Advisors by the Social innovation eXchange (SIX) and the Young Foundation, 2010
Guide to Social Innovation, European Commission, DG Regional and Urban Policy and DG Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, March 2013
Transition Network, an organisation supporting communities to move towards resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions