More than 250
non-government organisations from across Europe have released an alternative vision for a more democratic, just
and sustainable Europe.
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.
It comes ahead of
a summit of EU leaders this week with the key issues for Europe's future on the
agenda, including migration, security, jobs and Brexit. This week also marks
the one year anniversary of the UK's vote to leave the European Union (June 23)
which propelled questions about the future of Europe up the political agenda.
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".
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
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."
Director of CEE
Bankwatch Network, Petr Hlobil, added: "There is a crisis
of imagination in Brussels. Reforming the EU Budget holds part of the key to
unlocking a progressive and inspiring new vision for Europe. Innovating in how
we involve citizens and civil society in EU spending to build flourishing,
sustainable futures, and designing EU finance to create more equal societies
through this great transition to sustainable well-being, hold the highest potential
to reconnect people with the European project."
of the European Public Health Alliance , Nina Renshaw, said:
"We are all living healthier lives today thanks to the EU, but it is only
through their continued action that we can tackle cross-border health
challenges like antimicrobial resistance and make sure we have a healthy
population to unlock the full potential of social and economic policies. 70% of
Europeans want the EU to do more on health – yet their voices go unheard. The debate
on the future of Europe is an unmissable opportunity to put better health at
the heart of all policies, ensure stronger protection for patients and
consumers and better access to healthcare, which will make a huge difference to
all of us."