The road to Sibiu had ended, but the journey must continue

The future of Europe is socially and environmentally sustainable – and it is within reach.

This was the message delivered to EU Heads of State and Government meeting at the Sibiu Summit on 9 May by Social Platform and the Green 10, a coalition of environmental organisations and networks active at European level.

We are living in a period of deep social and environmental crises. Increasing levels of inequality, persistent social exclusion and challenges to fundamental rights and democracy, alongside environmental degradation, climate change and a dramatic loss of biodiversity have led to rising social tensions, evident in the street protests sweeping the continent. To successfully resolve these issues, social and environmental challenges need to stop being addressed in isolation from one another. The coming together of social and environmental civil society organisations in the form of Social Platform and the Green 10 presents us with an even greater prospect of finding lasting solutions to bring about change.

The Sibiu Declaration released after the Summit sets the foundations for such change, and now requires decision-makers to do more than pay lip service to confront the real challenges facing our societies.

Reacting to the Sibiu Declaration, Kélig Puyet, Director of Social Platform, said:

“We welcome the Sibiu Declaration and its commitment to the values and principles of the EU: democracy, fundamental rights, and unity. Leaders have promised to listen to the concerns and hopes of citizens, but these can already be heard: citizens want leaders to put people and planet first, and they want it now.

“As the largest alliance of social civil society networks in Europe, we urge EU and national leaders to not only talk about these worthy values on the eve of the EU elections. They must turn words into reality and take actions in the coming years to become a leading force for social and environmental justice in the world. Our children and grandchildren must not pay the price for our collective inaction”.