A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

(12 September 2016) A large group of European organisations sent a message to Europe’s government leaders meeting in the European Council 16 September. We expect that they develop a vision for Europe that inspires.  It says “ 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.”

Welcoming the statement EPSU’s acting President Dave Prentis comments: As unions we are convinced it is possible to have another European Union. We reject the Europe of those that seek to divide workers. The Europe we want unites,  is democratic, fights growing inequalities and cares for people and our planet. Together we can deliver this.

Lead by the ETUC, the environmental organisation WWF, the European Youth Forum and the European umbrella organisation for relief and development organisations Concorde the statement supports positions EPSU has long taken: “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.”