Social Europe and Well-Being

Well-being 2030

‘Well-being 2030’ has entered its final phase, aimed at discussing possible policy recommendations and at disseminating the results obtained during the past two years.

The ‘Well-being 2030’ research project, co-funded by the EPC and the European Commission, and chaired by Allan Larsson, former Director-General of DG Employment and chairman of the board of Lund University, began in April 2009.

Based on a belief that policy can shape our future, the project seeks to establish a strategic vision for the long-term development of social policy in Europe, and   investigates what policy choices are most likely to deliver a higher level of well-being for European citizens by the year 2030.

This forward-looking project reflects on the future of Europe’s economic and social models, including the trends, challenges and constraints framing policy choices for improving citizens’ quality of life. Its work has been stimulated through a range of activities, which aim to deliver three key outputs: 

  • to bring the insights of the research on well-being definition and measurement into the policy debate over the long-term future of Social Europe; 
  • to analyse Europeans’ values and preferences in order to sketch a picture of a future society delivering a higher level of well-being for its citizens; 
  • to identify the strategic policy choices (social, economic and environmental) reflecting Europeans’ preferences and considering the current challenges as well as resources available to deal with these challenges.

The last phase of ‘Well-being 2030’ includes several key publications, research, and events, which provide answers to the three key outputs.

The Working Paper ‘Enhancing the well-being of Europe’s citizens: hard choices?’ has been a crucial step in the project. By presenting the trade-offs between policy choices that are likely to enhance citizens’ well-being, it underlines some possible ‘win-win’ situations. The Paper was submitted in December to a consultation process, with the aim of fostering the debate on the elaboration of policy recommendations.

In parallel, an analysis of Europeans’ values, attitudes and preferences has been conducted. The results, presented in the Issue Paper ‘What do citizens want?’, underline relevant trends regarding EU citizens’ values, and stress the lack of comprehensive data at European and national level.

A multi-author publication ‘Challenge Europe’, based on the research outcomes and the consultation process, will distill the main ideas of how Europe can make its economic and social model more competitive. 

The ‘Well-being 2030’ team is also contributing to the survey ‘Qualitative Eurobarometer’, carried out by TNS Opinion and DG Employment, using focus groups. This will shed further light on how citizens envisage their life by 2030, and how they react to trade-offs involved in their stated desires and preferences.

The overall results of ‘Well-being 2030’ will be presented in a final report, released at the end of the project.

This project is one the EPC’s core activities and all outputs have drawn on the expertise of EPC staff and senior advisers, members of the steering and advisory groups, EPC members and other European stakeholders, including the EU institutions themselves.

Understanding the components of citizens’ well-being, and its implications, calls for a comprehensive and inclusive analysis, which will contribute to shaping the  future of Europe. The EPC encourages its members and other stakeholders to take part in the consultation process and to add their insights to this final phase of ‘Well-being 2030’.


This project is chaired by Allan Larsson, former Director-General of DG Employment.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive, Tel: +32 (0)2 286 11 91; email: or Claire Dhéret, Senior Policy Analyst, Tel: +32 (0)2 235 08 81; email:


Iain Begg, London School of Economics
Gosta Esping Andersen, University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
Gerd Götz, Philips
Anton Hemerijck, Faculty of Social Sciences at VU University Amsterdam
Will Hutton, The Work Foundation
Dominique Meda, French Studies and Employment Centre
Jan Muehlfeit, Microsoft
Rainer Münz, Erste Bank, Vienna
Andrew Oswald, Warwick University
Anne-Sophie Parent, Age
Kristina Persson, European Policy Centre
Monika Queisser, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR; Social Platform
Maria-João Rodrigues, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Lisbon University Institute  
Chiara Saraceno, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
Corinna Schulze, IBM

In this programme


Well-being 2030