Debate: The pros and cons of economic growth

At 19:30 on Tuesday the 19th April, deBuren will hold a debate which looks at the primacy of economic growth and it and degrowth’s relative merits.

The debate “What are the merits of economic contraction, is degrowth the way forward? The pros and cons of economic growth” will take place at 6 Leopoldstraat, Brussels. Entry is free, but reservation is recommended (see below). The discussion will be in Dutch and a live stream from Brussels will be provided on the TTT homepage. English-language video highlights will be provided for non-Dutch speakers post-debate.

Theme / Speakers / Location / Articles 

About the debate:

In the last few years, the financial crisis and climate change have led more and more people to question the primacy of economic growth. Proponents of degrowth advocate a totally different sort of economics and a complete change of mentality. They seek an end to the prioritisation of economic growth, state that we need to produce and consume less and that that which we do produce should be sold as close to source as is possible. For the proponents of degrowth, it’s time to see an end to the environmental excesses of our consumerist society.

Of course, degrowth is controversial and the movement has come in for criticism. This debate will look to analyse that critique, asking questions such as:

– are economic growth and environmental conservation really incompatible?

– how realistic is the degrowth scenario and what would the economic policy required for its implementation look like in, for example, Belgium and the Netherlands?

– and, would the continued existence of a European Union be conceivable, were that union to be comprised of member states which had renounced the primacy of economic growth?

Brent Bleys will start off the evening with an introduction to the key principles of the degrowth movement, before he, Marius de Geus and Geert Gielens look in more detail at the practicality of the proposals on which degrowth is based.

A live stream of this debate will appear on the Time to Talk homepage on the evening of the 19th April and links to the ticket reservation in Brussels can be found below.


Brent Bleys – Economics Lecturer at the University of Gent, Belgium

Marius de Geus – Political Philosophy Lecturer at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands

Geert Gielens – Chief Economist and Research Director at Belfius Bank


Piet Depuydt –  Finance and Economics Editor of De Tijd

Live stream:

This debate will be live streamed, with a stream appearing on the Time to Talk homepage on the evening of the debate. Alerts and further information about the live stream will be made available via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


You can reserve tickets for this debate by clicking on ‘Reserveer’ on deBuren’s [Dutch] event page or by calling +32 (0) 2 212 19 30

Event series:

This debate takes place with the support of the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme and is one debate of many taking place as part of an international series of debates on the same theme in cities around Europe, including Barcelona, Bratislava, Brussels, London, Sofia and Warsaw.



Krytyka Polityczna
Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique) is the largest Eastern European liberal network of institutions and activists. It consists of the online daily Dziennik Opinii, a quarterly magazine, publishing house, cultural centres in Warsaw, Łódź, Gdańsk and Cieszyn, activist clubs in a dozen cities in Poland (and also in Kiev and Berlin), as well as a research centre: the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.