Progressive youth for a sustainable and inclusive Europe
The European elections of may 2019 were a clear wake-up call for European institutions and Member States alike : the European youth requests that the EU embraces the twin green and digital transition. The European Union had already begun to set the pace for such a transition with the European green deal proposed by the European Commission.
The corona crisis we are experiencing acts as an accelerator of these trends, further highlighting the necessity of a more sustainable economy and a sovereign Europe. With the European economy at a standstill, the new crisis brings forward both new challenges and opportunities, testing the limits of solidarity and unity. It is crucial that the new economic recovery does not water down sustainability commitments, or accelerates the increase in emissions, but fuels investments and efforts toward building a greener and more sustainable Europe.
Given the unalterable consequences of today’s decisions, young Europeans deserve to have their voice heard. Depending on the path we choose, we and our children will have to live in one of two possible realities.
- In one of them, Europe would have risen to the challenge and engaged in a real shift toward a low-carbon, sustainable and circular economy, drawing lessons from our past excesses and dependencies.
- In the other, Europe would have missed the opportunity to shift to a resilient and sustainable socio-economical pathway, with the dooming effects it entails and pass onto one crisis to another.
By gathering politically-engaged young people from many Member States, the 2018 Young European Summit (YES!) had placed our progressive ideas at the forefront of the political debate ahead of the European election campaign. As we believe in the need to maintain youth involvement in the policy-making process at such a critical time, we call for the ecological transition to be at the heart of the new 2021 project “Our Sustainable Europe”.
The famous scientist Charles Darwin explains that, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.” Now is the time for our decision-makers to seize this opportunity of global awareness to make a change by putting our economies on a sustainable track and as a consequence impact the life of millions of Europeans in the process.
Our call for Europe to be
A Europe that ensures a just ecological transition
- Ensuring ecological policy solutions encompass social needs and do not particularly impact more vulnerable populations.
- Enabling the development of sustainable alternatives for transport and energy
- Supporting companies and citizens to adopt a more circular way of producing and consuming
- Implementing policies systematically respectful of our biodiversity
- Setting ambitious energy and climate targets
- Promoting high-level environmental commitments during the different COPs in the context of a rise in populist-led anti-environmental policies
- Engaging with international actors to build innovative solutions on cross-continental environmental issues ranging from the poles to the oceans
- Building an in-depth dialogue with citizens through the Conference on the Future of Europe
- Closely engaging with the European parliament in the policy-making process