Environmental groups call for a new EU deal: green, social and fit for a one-planet economy

On its 50th anniversary, the EEB launches 12 demands for a European Pact for the Future


Less than one month ahead of the European Elections, environmental groups stand strong against the anti-science push that threatens environmental action and democracy. Today, linked to the network’s 50th anniversary, the EEB releases a blueprint for an agenda of hope: a new green and social deal for a one-planet economy.

Our proposal for a European Pact for the Future will be launched today at the EEB’s Annual Conference in Brussels.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental civil society organizations.


A new deal for Europe

Calls for an Industrial Deal in the Antwerp Declaration and demands for social rights made by the La Hulpe Declaration are yet the latest indicators that relevant EU actors envisage the need for a new deal. Meanwhile, Heads of State prepare the Strategic Agenda that will guide the EU’s priorities for the next five years. Yet, these high-level debates fail to acknowledge the environmental dimension – and that long-term sustainability needs to underpin our social and economic policy

The upcoming EU mandate requires a comprehensive approach that integrates environmental concerns with social and economic priorities. Without addressing the interconnected climate, biodiversity and pollution crises, any other pact, deal or declaration would be incomplete and a gross oversight on the side of EU leaders. Extreme weather events, critical changes to earth systems, biodiversity loss and shortage of natural resources are already threatening us, and will starkly increase in the next ten years.

This is why we developed, in consultation with civil society and with decision makers across Member States, the European institutions and wider stakeholders, a European Pact for the Future to offer an agenda of hope, an actionable and viable programme for our common future, and transformational change without leaving anyone behind.  


Patrick ten Brink, Secretary General at the EEB said:

“The ongoing triple crisis on pollution, climate and biodiversity, and the increasing frequency of resource-related conflicts, are at the heart of all the challenges facing Europe today. All of our priorities depend on our success in tackling this question.

Europe cannot give up on its position as a global environmental leader. In fact, its competitive strength lies in its forward-looking policy agenda, rooted in robust social and environmental standards– we should not undermine this; we should build on it. The European Green Deal was a starting point, catalysing part of the transformational change we need, strengthening the EU’s international credibility, and was proving to be a tool for EU competitiveness globally – we should move further. Don’t stop now.”


Patrizia Heidegger, Dpt, Secretary General at the EEB, added:

“We can’t go back to the old reflex of pitting economic prosperity against environmental and climate action. We cannot split social and environmental justice – as a transition that is not just will not be a transition. With the European Pact for the Future we can develop policies that serve environmental protection, social justice and economic opportunities, and we can finally live up to our global responsibilities to develop true partnership, overcoming historic injustice and persisting exploitation.”

The Pact asks leaders to:

  • Chart the ecological transformation: Fully address the triple planetary climate, biodiversity and pollution crisis, building on the interconnections between crises. Reduce resource use and seize circular economy opportunities to save resources and money, while reducing emissions and building resilience. Prioritise a shift to a well-being economy that places people’s welfare at the forefront. 
  • Fast-track towards a one-planet economy: Support sectors in becoming resilient and competitive on sustainability on a global scale. Drive systemic change through investments, fair taxation, and equitable distribution of resources. Ensure adequate funding to support engagement across society and make sustainable choices easy for individuals and businesses alike. 
  • Promote a just transition: Develop a new social contract that leaves no one behind, ensuring that people’s needs are central to decision-making. Strengthen environmental democracy by amplifying the voices of youth and marginalised groups, fostering healthy democratic practices amid global challenges. Commit to global justice and forge partnerships to address shared challenges effectively.
  • Implement our commitments: Enforce EU legislation to uphold the rule of law and protect public health. Strengthen EU governance and trust in the European Project by designating Commission Vice Presidents to champion green and social deals, alongside a Commissioner for youth and future generations

50 years shaping Europe

On Monday 13 May, the EEB celebrates 50 years, standing as Europe’s largest umbrella group of environmental organisations, a testament to its enduring legacy in EU policy making.

Proudly, the EEB has shaped today’s Europe on crucial environmental issues like the circular economy, pollution mitigation, and climate action. Without civil society, crucial EU milestones such as the right to repair, the air quality law, or the sustainable corporate due diligence would remain mere aspirations. For half a century, the EEB has contributed to propelling Europe to the forefront of progressive climate, environmental, and social legislation.


We warmly welcome journalists to join us at our Annual Conference to meet our experts, know more about our history and demands for the new EU cycle about to begin.


Notes to editors

You can find and sign the Pact here

An embargoed Action Plan to the Pact will follow

Follow the EEB’s Annual Conference online on Monday 13 May

Environmental groups call for a new EU deal: green, social and fit for a one-planet economy
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