European & International News

Spring Alliance calls on Europe’s leaders to put people and planet first

[Social Platform, Brussels, 8 April 2014] Today, the Spring Alliance, bringing together European trade unions and environmental, social and development organisations, launched its new manifesto “A better Europe now” which aims to present a positive vision of Europe “that puts people and planet first”. You can download it here, and the flyer presenting the main policy recommendations here.

Through the manifesto, the Spring Alliance calls for “a radical departure by the next European Commission and European Parliament from current policies which have not succeeded in solving the crisis and have led to citizens increasingly losing their trust in their political leaders and in the European project.”

Despite a prevailing sense of crisis, the Spring Alliance believes that there is still an opportunity to adopt a better way to solve Europe’s problems and thereby restore citizens’ trust and confidence in Europe.

The manifesto proposes six solutions for the new European Parliament and Commission:

  • Improve Democracy
  • Promote Environmental Sustainability
  • Build More Cohesive and Equal Societies
  • Live Up to our Development Commitments
  • Ensure Quality Employment for All
  • Revise Economic Policies

Build more cohesive and inclusive societies

“With rising poverty, exclusion and inequalities the EU faces a time of distrust and disenchantment” said Heather Roy, President of Social Platform. “Solidarity between member states is being called into question and we are far from reaching the Europe 2020 targets. We need strong democratic legitimacy and accountability, and economic policies that ensure sustainable and inclusive growth."

Ending Austerity

“Twenty six million unemployed are living proof that austerity is not working” said Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). “Europe needs to invest in a plan for creating quality jobs and to promote decent wages instead of competing on low wages and reduced health and safety.”

Green economy

Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said “Developing bold environmental policies is central to building a greener economy and allowing us to exit the crisis sustainably.”

Tackling inequalities at home and abroad

“Inequality is a global issue, increasingly so in Europe. It’s not just about incomes, GDP and economic development. It is also about dealing with the root causes of inequalities within societies. To make a difference, EU leaders should take a stand against tax dodging and support a financial transaction tax” said Seamus Jeffreson, Director of CONCORD, European Development NGOs.

On 8 April 2014 the Spring Alliance will be debating priorities for Europe post the 2014 elections with senior representatives of the European political parties in the European Economic and Social Committee.


The Spring Alliance are: the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Social Platform and Concord, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs.

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