Global Economy and Corporate Responsibility

Focusing on the Common Good

From a progressive perspective, there is no doubt that global economic, trade and tax policies serve a higher goal. Primarily, they are instruments to reduce inequality within and between states and between the Global North and Global South. A beneficial global economic order serves the common good: It provides solutions to social issues, instead of exacerbating them.

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations have created a set of guidelines for the economic system of the future, and for our work as well.

Together with our partners, we are committed to shaping the global economic system so that it benefits the common good, and to implementing the Goals of the 2030 Agenda – all over the world. In this, our emphasis is on trade and tax policies and also the topic of corporate and investor responsibility.

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News About Global Economy and Corporate Responsibility

How Germany plans to uphold human rights in supply chains

Most companies disregard human rights in their supply chains. A German law may finally change that, says Franziska Korn at

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Is redistribution necessary to reduce inequality?

Germany has kept income inequality low by redistribution of wealth through taxes and transfers. Are there better ways to combat inequality?

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Mirko Herberg

What if the citizens of Berlin owned Uber’s data?

We must not give companies control and power over our data. Parminder Jeet Singh explains what we need to do.

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Fighting inequality through progressive taxation

How this can be achieved was discussed by four guests of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in a webinar at the Global Solutions Summit.


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Who cares? Feminist responses to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has a strong gender dimension. It is increasing women’s vulnerabilities and risks in their roles as workers and caregivers.

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Bangladesh’s garment sector collapse devastates millions

Highly dependent on demand from Europe and the United States, the economic impact of the Coronavirus will hit factory workers and especially women.

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More articles are available here.


Guga, ?tefan

The question of productivity

Controversies and clarification
Bucharest, 2020

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Dünhaupt, Petra; Herr, Hansj?rg

Catching up in a time of constraints

Industrial policy under World Trade Organization rules, free trade agreements and bilateral investment agreements
Singapore, 2020

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Said, Salam

COVID-19 and the Syrian economy

Implications for social justice
Beirut, 2020

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Vandeputte, Nathan

Rejuvenating EU democracy support in Africa

The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) as a promising framework for action?
Berlin, 2020

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Scheiring, Gabor


A polarising answer to the crisis of liberal dependent capitalism
Budapest, 2020

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Global Economy, Corporate Responsibility and Progressive Politics

Seen from the progressive standpoint of Social Democracy, there is no doubt that the role of economic policy must be to promote prosperity for society as a whole, and to reduce inequality within and between countries. A progressive global economic order solves social issues instead of exacerbating them.

First and foremost, this means that the social benefit derived from economic actions needs to be front and center at all times. The interests of powerful, well-connected players such as investors or corporations must not be allowed to override the common good. Just like a state's citizens, economic actors have both rights and obligations: They are protected by the state but must also: adhere to the law, preserve public assets such as the environment, pay taxes, and be held responsible for any damage caused.

Because large transnational corporations often put these obligations last, states and parliaments must regulate them. The economy should be under democratic control, both nationally and internationally. Strong and democratically legitimate institutions are required to provide oversight of the global economy. The establishment of an effective system for “Global Economic Governance” is one of the most important tasks of our time, to ensure that all human beings – and not just the “1 percent” – can benefit from economic growth.

2030 Agenda: A Guide to Tomorrow's Economy

With the United Nation's 2030 Agenda, the international community has given itself a set of guidelines for shaping the global economy in the future: One person's prosperity should not come at another person's expense, or at the expense of upcoming generations. Future economic activity needs to be guided by sustainability principles and the common good. This is the only way in which states will reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which cover issues such as reducing poverty and inequality and addressing the effects of climate change.

In our work on economic issues, we are committed to:

  • reining in international financial markets,
  • reforming international trade policy,
  • fundamentally reshaping the international tax system and
  • making transnational corporations adhere to labor rights, human rights and environmental standards.
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