Over 250 NGOs launch alternative vision for Europe

More than 250 non-government organisations from across Europe including Friends of the Earth Malta, have today released an alternative vision for a more democratic, just and sustainable Europe.

Intended to influence the debate on the future direction of Europe, this alternative vision is endorsed by organisations representing a multitude of public interest issues, including labour rights, culture, development, environment, health, women’s rights, youth, and anti-discrimination groups.

The vision describes a future for Europe in which “sustainability sits firmly at the heart of the European project,” and the EU focuses on “democracy and participation, social  and environmental justice, solidarity and sustainability, respect for the rule of law, and human rights both within Europe and around the globe”.

The organisations are putting this scenario for the future forward as an alternative to proposals from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, including five ‘Future of Europe’ scenarios which are currently being consulted on with member states with first conclusions due at the end of the year.

For SDG Watch Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe, Leida Rijnhout, said: “The five scenarios for the future of Europe put forward by President Juncker are all deeply disappointing and have little connection to the challenges that the European Union faces. Instead we need a bold vision – an alternative sixth scenario – that puts social and environmental wellbeing at the core. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be absolutely key for a future that serves people and the planet, not vested interests.”

General Secretary of EPSU (European Public Service Union), Jan Willem Goudriaan, said: “Public services and decent work are key ingredients for a fairer, more cohesive and sustainable Europe.  Everyone benefits from investment in, for example, high quality public healthcare, social services, education, and environmental services. Rather than liberalising public services for the benefit of the few, Europe should develop a proactive strategy to strengthen public investment and democratic accountability in the provision of quality public services for all.”

Download the Scenario 6: Sustainable Europe for its Citizens