'The EU needs now to embark on an agenda of transformational change' – Green 10 reaction to the UK referendum

Following the result of the UK referendum to leave the EU, the Green 10 – 10 of the leading environmental networks active at European level – said the result was a blow to the values of openness, inclusiveness, tolerance, respect and commitment to sustainability that the EU represents. In the coming debate on how the EU will live up to these values, it must become better in making the case for the values and benefits EU policies have brought for its citizens’ health and wellbeing, the Green 10’s directors wrote in letter to presidents Juncker, Tusk and Schulz, and Prime Minister Rutte. These include cleaner air, water and beaches, thriving wildlife, safer substances and green energy, to name but a few. These benefits should be communicated loud and clear and all the time.

At the same time, the EU needs to now embark on an agenda of transformational change, one that puts the interests of people and planet first in everything that it does, guided by the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris climate deal. But the EU’s current focus on less regulation has failed to turn “leavers” into “remainers” and that should not come as a surprise. The EU remains uniquely placed to lead in tackling the global challenges of climate change, the depletion of natural resources, the collapse of ecosystems and disappearance of wildlife. The directors welcomed the leaders’ willingness to engage in a new reflection on the future direction of Europe starting this week and stand ready to play our part in contributing to the discussion in the months ahead.


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