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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The free market is not the answer

We need a new economic order that serves the public interest. A plea by FES head of department Jochen Steinhilber on

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Pay taxation, buy civilisation

A robust international tax system is the best defence against authoritarianism, says Wayne Swan on

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[Translate to English:]
Sarah Ganter

Corruption: Multi-Billion Dollar Thefts From the Public Purse

Civil society can contribute to asset recovery and more transparent processes, say authors Agatino Camarda and Jackson Oldfield.

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Development Finance Revisited

The world has enough for everyone's needs, but not for everyone's tax evasion

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No fish today

Building social cohesion by fighting inequality

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Economics and Progressive Politics
Further training

Economics and Progressive Politics

Our Workshop and audio book about a just and solidary economic order (German) more

Focus Areas

Tax Justice

Tax Justice


Fair play in Global Trade

Fair play in Global Trade


Economy and human rights

Economy and human rights



Kyurumyan, Artak

Amendments to the tax code in the light of the reasons for, and consequences of, the 2018 revolution in Armenia

Tbilisi, 2019

Publikation herunterladen (2,7 MB PDF-File)

Lesebuch der Sozialen Demokratie ; 2 / Englisch

Bonn, 2019

Publikation herunterladen (5,5 MB, PDF-File)

Acosta, Jorge; Macaroff, Anahí

Complaint from banana workers for violation of rights

under the framework of the Multiparty Trade Agreement of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the European Union
Quito, 2019

Publikation herunterladen

Camarda, Agatino; Oldfield, Jackson

The stolen wealth

Opportunities and challenges for civil society in asset recovery
Berlin, 2019

Publikation herunterladen (240 KB, PDF-File)

Pasha, Hafiz A.

Growth and inequality in Pakistan

Agenda for reforms
Islamabad, 2019

Publikation herunterladen (7,5 MB PDF-File)

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 states. A beneficial 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 cannot override the common good. Just like a state's citizens, economic players have 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.

But because large transnational corporations often put these obligations last, states and parliaments must intervene in a regulatory fashion. The economy must be under democratic control, both nationally and internationally. Strong, democratically legitimized institutions are needed that can control the global economy politically and establish an effective system for “Global Economic Governance”. This is one of the most important tasks of our time, and only if this happens will all humans beings – and not just the “1 percent” – profit from economic growth.

2030 Agenda: A Guideline for 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 coming 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 meeting 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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