Study Commission Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life

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In its 77th session on December 1, 2010, the 17th German Bundestag decided to set up a study commission entitled Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life - Paths to Sustainable Business and Social Progress in the Social Market Economy . The corresponding application for appointment (17/3853) was submitted by the CDU / CSU , SPD , FDP and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary groups . The commission was constituted on January 17, 2011. This made it the second next to the Internet and Digital Society Enquete Commission to be convened in the 17th legislature. In June 2013, the study presented its final report and finished its work.

Aim of the inquiry

The study commission wanted to advance the programmatic discussion on the understanding of prosperity and its prospects. The basic question on the understanding of prosperity was: How can social prosperity, individual wellbeing and sustainable development in a society be appropriately defined and mapped in view of the fact that the focus on the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) is no longer sufficient? The questions behind the prospects for prosperity were: Are there limits to growth and how will Germany deal with possibly lower growth rates in the next few decades?

The commission wanted to explore the possibilities of developing a holistic prosperity and progress indicator. Such an indicator could supplement GDP or possibly replace it as a political target figure in which GDP would be a partial aspect in the long term (possibly also in international comparisons). To this end, it should be examined “how the factors influencing quality of life and social progress can be adequately taken into account and combined into a common indicator”, whereby the following aspects would have to be taken into account: “the material standard of living , access to and the quality of work , the social Distribution of wealth, social inclusion and cohesion, an intact environment and the availability of limited natural resources , educational opportunities and levels of education, health and life expectancy , the quality of public services as well as social security and political participation as well as the quality of life and satisfaction experienced by people subjectively " . In addition, the commission wanted to investigate in more detail whether and how GDP growth can be permanently decoupled from the growth in consumption of resources, the environment and biocapital as well as from emissions , and which future fields of technical progress can be identified. It should also be examined what a sustainable regulatory policy could look like, what influence the world of work, consumer behavior and lifestyles have on the possibilities of sustainable business and how these areas could or should be designed in order to contribute to an improved quality of life. The aim of the final study commission report was, in addition to the presentation of the knowledge gained on the sub-topics, to formulate concrete recommendations for action.

Working method

Inquiry commissions are non-factional working groups made up of members of parliament and external experts who are supposed to find answers to socially relevant questions on an overarching topic beyond daily politics.

The committee usually meets on Mondays in the first week of meetings of the respective month, the individual project groups also more frequently.

In the course of a closed closed meeting on February 6 and 7, 2011, the commission members agreed on a preliminary work program. On the basis of this, 5 project groups were set up, the content of which is strongly oriented towards the 5 subsections of the appointment resolution.

  • Project group 1: Importance of growth in economy and society (Chair: FDP, Claudia Bögel , Member of the Bundestag )
  • Project group 2: Development of a holistic prosperity / progress indicator (Chair: CDU / CSU, Stefanie Vogelsang , Member of the Bundestag)
  • Project group 3: Growth, resource consumption and technical progress - possibilities and limits of decoupling (Chair: Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Hermann E. Ott , Member of the Bundestag)
  • Project group 4: Sustainable regulatory policy (Chair: SPD, Edelgard Bulmahn , Member of the Bundestag)
  • Project group 5: The world of work, consumer behavior and lifestyles (Chair: Die Linke, Sabine Leidig , Member of the Bundestag)


The Commission presented its final report on 4 June 2013 (document 17/13300).

Since the commission was supposed to deal with the central questions of our society, there was naturally no uniform result. One of the results was the presentation of the W3 indicators .

In the plenary debate on the final report of the study commission, there was a fierce political exchange between the coalition and the opposition.


The commission consisted of 17 members of the Bundestag and 17 external experts appointed by the parliamentary groups. Six of the 17 MPs are from the CDU / CSU, four from the SPD, three from the FDP and two each from the left-wing parliamentary group and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. This reflected the balance of power in the plenary session of the German Bundestag at that time. There are 17 deputy parliamentary members using the same distribution key. The chairman of the commission is the SPD MP Daniela Kolbe ; Their deputy is the Union MP Matthias Zimmer (CDU). The first criticism of the composition arose at the beginning of February 2011, as there was not a single woman among the 17 external experts. On June 1, 2011, Beate Jochimsen (professor for general economics, in particular finance at the Berlin School of Economics and Law ) replaced Herbert Buchner , who resigned from his position for health reasons.

Surname Deputy Remarks
Steffen Bilger Josef Göppel
Matthias Heider Ewa Klamt
Mathias Middelberg Jürgen Klimke
Georg Nüßlein Carsten Linnemann Chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group for the commission
Stefanie Vogelsang Philipp Murmann
Matthias Zimmer Nadine Schön Deputy Chairman of the Study Commission
Surname Deputy Remarks
Ingrid Arndt-Brauer Hubertus Heil
Edelgard Bulmahn Eva Högl replaces Peter Friedrich ; Chairwoman of the SPD parliamentary group for the commission
Waltraud Wolff Ulrich Kelber
Daniela Kolbe Anton Schaaf Chair of the study commission
Surname Deputy Remarks
Florian Bernschneider Michael Kauch Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group for the commission
Horst Meierhofer Werner Simmling replaces Claudia Bögel
Judith Skudelny Johannes Vogel
Surname Deputy Remarks
Sabine Leidig Eva Bulling-Schröter
Ulla Lötzer Matthias W. Birkwald Chairwoman of DIE LINKE parliamentary group for the Commission
Alliance 90 / The Greens
Surname Deputy Remarks
Thomas Gambke Beate Walter-Rosenheimer replaces Kerstin Andreae
Hermann E. Ott Valerie Wilms Chairman of the parliamentary group The Greens (after the departure of Kerstin Andreae)
Expert members Remarks
Marc Oliver duvet covers
Georg van Bracht
Ulrich Brand
Kai Carstensen
André Habisch
Anke Hassel replaces Henrik Enderlein
Dietmar Hexel
Hanns Michael Hölz
Martin Jänicke
Beate Jochimsen replaces Herbert Buchner
Meinhard Miegel
Michael Mueller
Karl-Heinz Paqué
Norbert Reuter
Christoph M. Schmidt
Uwe Schneidewind
Gert Wagner

In the media

In April 2014, Die Welt emphasized that the implementation of the results of the study commission was delayed, even though the Bundestag had commissioned the government in June 2013 with a motion for a resolution to create the set of indicators recommended by the commission.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Motion from the CDU / CSU, SPD, FDP and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary groups to set up a study commission on "Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life" (PDF; 72 kB)
  2. a b c New study commission starts work. In: German Bundestag. Retrieved February 3, 2011 .
  3. ^ Final report of the study commission on growth, prosperity, quality of life
  4. Frank Patalong: Growth Enquete: "A traveling exhibition can be useful". In: Spiegel Online . April 16, 2013, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  5. Indicator model for social welfare. German Bundestag, June 6, 2013, accessed on October 14, 2017 .
  6. Open letter: "Growth, prosperity, quality of life" - a commission of inquiry without the expertise of women? , Link broken on September 23, 2018.
  7. attac : Growth survey without female experts arouses protest ( Memento from February 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Press release of the CDU / CSU: Beate Jochimsen is a very good choice for the study commission
  9. Inga Michler: The government ignores the expensive formula for happiness. Die Welt, accessed on May 2, 2014 .