Joint statement: A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

12 Sep 2016

Ahead of the Bratislava European summit, CESI signed and supports a common statement by 177 European and national civil society organisations and trade unions on 'A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all'. It calls for the European project to reclaim its promise of peace, democracy and solidarity.

Joint statement: A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

Statement as PDF

Europe is at a crossroads, and the future of European cooperation and the benefits it brings are at stake. This is about the future of our society and how we want to be viewed by the wider world. The future of our planet and the kind of Europe our children will grow up in. The current crisis highlights the urgent need to reflect on fundamental questions: how do we ensure that the European project reclaims its promise of peace, democracy and solidarity? How can Europe work for its people?

Too many people across Europe are dissatisfied and disillusioned with the European Union and feel remote from its institutions and policies. But there are groups of committed politicians, trade unions, community groups and non-governmental organisations across Europe who are ready to take action and work for a renewed Europe. Together, we can shape a Europe that is inclusive, open, just, sustainable, and that works for people of all ages, social backgrounds and nations.

Where do we go from here to build the Europe we want and need?

Reject populist solutions

This crisis in confidence comes as people struggle with decreasing living standards, declining buying power and the rise of precarious work, hardship created by austerity policies, anxiety over movements of people to our shores, and the impacts of climate change and environmental destruction. As people search for answers, euroscepticism and nationalism, intolerance and misinformation are winning out over cooperation, humanity and solidarity with one other. We must all – leaders, media and individuals – actively and at every opportunity speak out and act against division, marginalisation of different groups in society and those that play on fears for their own political ends.

Tackle challenges together

Many of the challenges facing Europe – such as inequalities, climate change, natural resource depletion, and a global economy that benefits the few and not the many – are better tackled together than by countries individually.

The European Union, which embodies international cooperation and collaboration, needs to be leading in ensuring sustainable and inclusive development, advancing human rights, and allowing for dignified movements of people, where refugees are welcome and all people feel safe.

Fight for a sustainable, social Europe for people and for our planet

There needs to be a decisive and transformational change in political will, direction and policy. Such a vision is provided in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which people, social justice, environmental and health protection, democracy and transparency take centre stage. Guided by this agenda, EU economic policies need to go hand in hand with strong social and environmental policies. The EU single market and international policies must promote enforceable rules to protect workers, consumers, all citizens – men and women, young and old – and the planet. EU policies must support democracy, dialogue and more equality within and beyond the EU. We need a Europe that aims at improving the living standards of everyone.

Work for better Europe, not less Europe

The current tendency to weaken EU institutions and to strip away protections for people and planet in the name of ‘deregulation’ is not the answer. Current economic policies of reducing deficits and boosting ‘competitiveness’ have promoted too narrow an interpretation of growth , and corporate profits have failed to make it into workers’ wages or trickle down to improve people’s lives.

It is these policies, not ‘too much Europe’, that have alienated people, leaving them feeling disempowered and left behind. We now need new, progressive European initiatives to deliver tangible benefits for people and to win back their confidence and trust. A ‘better Europe’ is where joint European action creates tangible benefits for people and planet. This includes a new focus on equality and inclusion, a relaunch of the European social model to provide decent work, quality jobs and better living conditions, strong environmental protection, meaningful action on climate change, and an EU-wide effort to welcome and integrate migrants.

Listen and engage

EU leaders, prime ministers, presidents, chancellors and parliamentarians must listen and engage actively with citizens of all ages and social backgrounds to understand and respond better to people’s concerns and propose a new, positive vision of Europe. Everyone, perhaps most importantly the young, needs to be more actively involved in decisions that have an impact on our future. Together, we can take the decisions and actions on the issues that matter.

Make the case for Europe

We need a genuine, democratic and inclusive dialogue on the future of Europe, and on how the EU can deliver tangible benefits for Europeans. We stand ready to play an active role in this dialogue, and to work even harder in making the case for the benefits that working together have brought to European citizens, and the values for which this Union stands.

This common statement was drafted on the initiative of WWF, CONCORD, ETUC and European Youth Forum, and supported by the following 177 signatories:

  • European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI)
  • ACT Alliance EU
  • ACT Grupa
  • ActionAid International
  • Active Retirement Ireland
  • ADG
  • AEPADO – European Association for the Defense of Human Rights
  • Africa e Mediterraneo
  • AGE Platform Europe
  • Alaturi de Voi Romania Foundation
  • Albanian Society for All Ages (ASAG)
  • All Ears TM
  • ANME – Association for Natural Medicine in Europe
  • arbeit plus – Social Integration Enterprises Austria
  • Artenave Atelier – Associação de Solidariedade
  • Asociación Nacional Presencia Gitana
  • ASPUR
  • ATDAL Over40
  • Ateliere Fara Frontiere
  • Atelierul de panza SRL
  • Ateljee vzw
  • Baby Milk Action/IBFAN UK
  • BAGSO
  • BirdLife Europe
  • BirdLife Finland
  • BirdLife The Netherlands
  • BirdWatch Ireland
  • BLOOM ASSOCIATION
  • Bulgarian Red Cross
  • CARE International
  • CEIPES Belgium
  • Centar za životnu sredinu/FoE Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Center for Equality Advancement
  • Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb
  • CHEN, patient fertiltiy association, Israel
  • Civil Society Europe
  • Climate Action Network Europe
  • COFACE Families Europe
  • CONCORD
  • Conference of Religious of Ireland and Irish Missionary Union
  • Conseil de la Jeunesse
  • Consorzio di cooperative sociali EVT
  • Consorzio Sociale Abele Lavoro
  • Coordination SUD
  • CRIES
  • Cultúr Migrants Centre
  • Culture Action Europe
  • Czech Society for Ornithology
  • De Omslag
  • Don Bosco International
  • Don Bosco Youth Network West Africa
  • Dynamo International – Réseau International des Travailleurs sociaux de rue
  • EASPD
  • EcoPolítica
  • EFFAT
  • ENAR – European Network Against Racism
  • ENEA apa
  • ENNA – European Network of National Civil Society Associations
  • ENSIE – European Network of Social Integration Enterprises
  • ERGO Network
  • Estonian Green Movement
  • Estonian Human Rights Centre
  • Eurocadres – Council of European Professional and Manageral Staff
  • Eurochild
  • Eurodiaconia
  • EuroHealthNet
  • European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN)
  • European Central Council of Homeopaths
  • European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
  • European Disability Forum
  • European Environmental Bureau
  • European Federation of Building and Woodworkers
  • European Federation of Public Service Unions
  • European Humanist Federation
  • European Institute Foundation
  • European Institute of Women’s Health
  • European Medical Students’ Association
  • European Movement International
  • European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP)
  • European Parents’ Association
  • European Public Health Alliance
  • European Race and Imagery Foundation (ERIF)
  • European Trade Union Confederation
  • European Transport Safety Council
  • European Transport Workers’ Federation
  • European Volunteer Centre (CEV)
  • European Women’s Lobby
  • European Youth Forum
  • FAEDEI – Federación de Asociaciones Empresariales de Empresas de Inserción
  • Fair Trade Advocacy Office
  • FATEC (Federació d’Associacions de Gent Gran de Catalunya)
  • FEANTSA
  • Federació d’Organitzacions Catalanes de Gent Gran, Dones i Família – FOCAGG
  • Fédération des entreprises d’insertion
  • Fédération Européenne des Femmes Actives en Famille
  • FEMS – European Federation Salaried Doctors
  • Filipino Women’s Council
  • FONSS – Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Servicii Sociale din Romania
  • France Nature Environnement
  • Friends of the Earth Cyprus
  • Friends of the Earth Europe
  • Friends of the Earth Finland – Maan ystävät ry
  • Fundació Trinijove
  • Fundación Jóvenes y Desarrollo
  • Generation 2.0 Rights, Equality & Diversity
  • Generation Earth
  • Greenpeace
  • HEAL – Health and Environment Alliance
  • Hellenic Ornithological Society
  • Housing Europe
  • IBFAN Africa
  • IBFAN Europe
  • IBFAN LATIN AMÉRICA AND CARIBBEAN
  • ICSW – International Council on Social Welfare
  • IFSW-Europe – International Federation of Social Workers Europe
  • IGLYO
  • ILGA-Europe – European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex AssociationInitiative for Development and Cooperation
  • Inter Environnement Wallonie
  • International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)
  • International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)
  • International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network
  • International Union of Tenants (IUT)
  • JURATRI
  • KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Anti-Racism
  • Latvian Ornithological Society
  • Liga para a Protecção da Natureza
  • Light for the World International
  • Lipu BirdLife Italy
  • Mayo Intercultural Action
  • Mental Health Europe
  • Migrant Tales
  • Misiones Salesianas
  • NABU – Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (German partner of Birdlife International)
  • National Youth Council of Ireland
  • natur&emwelt
  • Naturefriends International
  • Natuurpunt
  • Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations (NELFA)
  • Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities
  • Old’up
  • OVN -NL
  • Oxfam International
  • PICUM – Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants
  • Plan International
  • Polish Society for the Protection of Birds
  • QED Foundation
  • RESIT – Rede de Empresas Sociais de Inserção pelo Trabalho
  • Roma Community Centre Vilnius
  • Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control
  • Social Firms England
  • Social Platform
  • SOF – BirdLife Sverige
  • SOLIDAR
  • SOS Children’s Villages International
  • SOS/BirdLife Slovakia
  • Sport Against Racism Ireland
  • SST vzw
  • Stichting Laka
  • Tallinn Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • The Club of Rome EU-Chapter
  • The European Federation of Older Persons – EURAG
  • The Integraiton and Support Unit
  • The Oslo Times
  • The Salvation Army EU Affairs Office
  • Transport & Environment
  • türkiye emekliler derneği
  • UNI Europa
  • volare a s.stefano
  • Volonteurope
  • WERVEL – Working Group for a Fair and Responsible Agriculture
  • World Vision
  • WWF
  • YES Forum
  • Youth for Human Rights Denmark
  • Združenie Slatinka

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