Today – on a global day of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change – a coalition of civil society organisations has launched a manifesto with core demands for the political leadership of the EU and the candidates in the 2019 European Elections.
The ‘Manifesto for a Sustainable Europe for its Citizens’ was released on the third anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, as over half a million people in over a thousand cities in more than 130 countries took part in a worldwide day of action.
Friends of the Earth Europe and other civil society organisations want their demands for a more sustainable, inclusive, democratic Europe on the agenda of the forthcoming European Parliament elections.
The manifesto sets out a future of Europe based on core ethical values and sustainable development: democracy and transparency, social and environmental justice, human rights, the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. It states that European policies, rules and standards should that do what they were intended for: protect and safeguard well-being and health, ensure safety and freedom for people and protection of the climate and the environment, and serve present and future generations in and outside Europe.
The current European Commission has failed to put Sustainable Development at the core of its political priorities, it says.
Jagoda Munic, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "At the moment too much of the debate about the future of Europe is stuck in the question of 'more or less EU?'. We need to move the conversation on to 'what kind of Europe do we want?'. That is why civil society organisations have developed this manifesto with 12 demands for a sustainable Europe. We expect that hundreds of national and European groups will support it, and we demand that the new parliament makes a sustainable Europe a reality for all citizens."
Patrizia Heidegger, Director for Global Policies and Sustainability, European Environmental Bureau, said: “Three years after the international community agreed on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, President Juncker still refuses to bring himself to even mention sustainability or the Global Goals. We call on the future political leaders of the EU to bring sustainable development to the heart of policymaking at the European Union and Member State level and to develop - in a participatory process with civil society – a strategy for a Sustainable Europe 2030 to become the compass for all European policies.”
Ingo Ritz, Director of Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), said: “Today, half a million people in over 1058 places in 131 countries all over the world are raising their voices under the banner of #ACT4SDGs, organizing and calling on world leaders to work for sustainable development for people and planet. The people demand from governments and parliaments to act. Since the European Commission hasn’t acted so far, we are addressing the European Parliament. The EU has a key responsibility – it must ensure that all its policies from trade to consumption and production support the SDGs.”
Organisations are invited to endorse the manifesto at: http://www.foeeurope.org/manifesto-sustainable-europe