“Man on the moon” moment?

SOLIDAR welcomes the European Green Deal, the master plan to make the EU sustainable that was presented by the Commission on 11 December to an extraordinary plenary session of the EP. The plan is ambitious and set out in different chapters, but its goals still do not encompass the magnitude of the changes that we need to undertake.

The changes required by the transition are vast. This is why democratic support is crucial if it is to be just. Only if Europeans support the shift that we need to make  will we be able to develop a sustainable society: not only law-makers, but also Civil Society Organisations and Social Partners at the European, national and local level should be constantly involved in the transition-planning for it to be supported. We trust the Conference on the Future of Europe will be a step in this direction.

Sustainability doesn’t only imply an economic shift towards a production and consumption model that respects planetary boundaries. For societies to be sustainable the transition must be just, and thus driven by solidarity mechanisms and social investments, to reduce inequalities and support the most vulnerable before the climate crisis. This requires a shift in economic governance too, for the economy to serve the transition rather than capital revenues.

The plan presented on Wednesday seems to steer Member States in the right direction, for instance by including the European Pillar of Social Rights. But we need to see the overall strategy for a just transition, to be released in January, to assess just how fair for the most vulnerable, and how ambitious in climate targets, the European Green Deal aims to be - for real.

Nature doesn’t negotiate. Our democratic institutions are already being questioned at almost all levels in Europe, hand in hand with the widespread distress of an economic system that enlarges inequalities instead of reducing them. We want a strategy that tackles our production and consumption patterns and makes them sustainable for communities. We want the strategy for a just transition to embed the democratic dimension of sustainability: for no one to be left behind, everyone must be involved.