Veblen Institute

The Veblen Institute is a non profit organization. It strives for a sustainable society in which respect of our planet’s physical limits goes hand in hand with well-being, social solidarity and an economy built upon more democratic rules than at present. The Veblen Institute believes that, as we enter the Anthropocene, humanity as a whole faces an unprecedented choice: transitionning to a different model while there is still time, or continuing to go down the same path as before, while awaiting the catastrophic consequences of resource shortages, reduced biodiversity, and climate change. The Institute wants to contribute to this decisive choice, upon which the well-being of present and future generations will depend, by showing that it is possible to free our society from the model of unsustainable growth. Change of course is not only necessary but also desirable as the “business as usual” scenario threatens our social wellbeing.

The Veblen Institute is also working on the effects on local economies and small and medium enterprises of current transatlantic trade negotiations.

Alongside the round XI of TTIP negotiations between the European Union and the United States, Veblen Institute published a report called: A transatlantic agreement but at what cost to SMEs? The potential effects of the United States / Europe free trade agreement (TTIP) on local economies and SMEs

Only 0.7% of European SMEs export to the United States and the value of exported goods and services is less than 2% of the added value produced by European SMEs as a whole. Yet despite the relative lack of importance of transatlantic trade for European SMEs, TTIP could have a seriously de-stabilising effect on them by (i) significant diverting inter European trade (which represents the bulk of the SME exporting) to the USA (ii) encouraging the importing of cheap American products and (iii) supporting large groups to enter European markets in which SMEs are strong.