In this new episode of EU Watchdog Radio, we discuss some fascinating historical events that help us to understand why the European Union functions the way it does, and why we have not made enough progress to tackle climate change despite all the scientific knowledge we have accumulated since 1972.

This episode is published on 9 May for a reason. This is Europe Day and to celebrate we are publishing the first of several episodes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CEO. As the European ‘powers that be’ are today celebrating Europe Day, we thought we also could use our anniversary to look back. However, instead of talking about 1950 when the ‘Schuman Declaration’ was signed, we will focus on 1972 - a year at least as significant because the Club of Rome published its famous report ‘Limits to Growth’. It sent shockwaves throughout the world and remains highly relevant today.

In this episode we will speak with historian, scholar and writer, Geert Buelens, connected to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Geert recently published a new, fascinating book titled (translated from Dutch), 'What we already knew back then' the forgotten history of 1972'. That year a unique and surprising consensus among business leaders, academics and politicians arose on the fact that eternal economic and population growth would make the Earth’s ecosystems crash at some point. This consensus did not last very long and Buelens tells us why that is the case. What was the role played by American lobby group the Business Roundtable, also created in 1972, in this? And how did the 'neoliberal revolution' influence it?

In this episode we also talk to CEO-researcher and co-founder Olivier Hoedeman about the creation of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) in 1981 – the European version of the US Business Roundtable. Olivier talks about the crucial yet largely unknown role it played and still very actively plays to keep corporate, private interests at the core of EU-policies, even in times of climate urgency. It’s getting more clear by the day why we need Fossil Free Politics.

Who we are

This podcast is produced by CEO and Counter Balance. Both NGOs raise awareness on the importance of good governance in the EU by researching issues like lobbying of large and powerful industries, corporate capture of decision making, corruption, fraud, human rights violations in areas like Big Tech, agro-business, biotech & chemical companies, the financial sector & public investment banks, trade, energy & climate, scientific research and much more…

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