The State of the Union speech given by EU President Jean-Claude Juncker this morning showed he had made an effort to understand the mood in Europe and the need to reach out to and empower citizens. However, once again he failed to join up the dots between securing social benefits and tackling environmental challenges.
Jeremy Wates, European Environmental Bureau Secretary General, said:
“President Juncker underlined the need for the EU to become “more social,’ but failed to demonstrate any understanding of how the collapse of Europe’s and the rest of the world’s ecosystems, overconsumption of resources and climate change are posing an existential threat to Europe’s ability to secure citizens a good life, within planetary boundaries.”
During the EEB’s Actions for Nature conference that is also taking place today, DG Environment’s Daniel Calleja Crespo insisted that “only by rowing together we will be able to achieve our goals”.
This will require the EU to embrace the 2030 agenda of transformational change by making the recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement central to all its actions, putting people and planet first and adopting one single comprehensive political strategy to put this into place.