Alternatives to austerity: sustainable and inclusive development
Ahead of the European summit taking place on June 28 and 29, the Spring Alliance has called on EU leaders to take a new approach to tackle the crisis, to move from short term emergency measures to a sustainable plan that will put Europe on a path of inclusive and environmentally sound development.
Jeremy Wates of EEB stated "Budget consolidation efforts made so far are not only failing to solve the crisis, but have also fuelled social unrest and jeopardised essential investments in a greener economy. We desperately need a new approach".
Among the agenda items the summit will discuss are the adoption of the Commission’s Country Specific Recommendations to implement an economic recovery plan. These should be in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and aim at achieving inclusive and sustainable development. Yet the first priority is always on correcting an excessive budget deficit and requires “rigorous implementation of budget strategy”.
Bernadette Ségol of the ETUC also stressed that “many policies will lead to downwards competition with respect to labour rights, wages, working conditions and environmental standards. The recommendations will also lead to increasing precariousness in the labour market which is detrimental to an inclusive growth.”
Conny Reuter, President of Social Platform pointed out that “we need an alternative recovery plan, a social, environmental and development pact that will provide the current missing link between social justice, sustainability and growth”.
At the same time, “the EU and its Member States need to live up to their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals towards meeting their 2015 aid and development targets. This is how the EU will demonstrate its leadership and will show it takes its responsibilities seriously,” added Olivier Consolo, Director of CONCORD.
The Spring Alliance has proposed an alternative plan to the Heads of State. One that will support an inclusive growth with both quality jobs and reduced social exclusion, with investment in a clean environment and a sustainable green economy and with development policies aiming at solidarity with countries outside Europe.
This alternative plan provides the link that is currently missing between social justice, sustainability and growth. This missing link is crucial to allowing Europe to make the move from emergency measures with damaging social and environmental consequences to a sustainable and inclusive long term social, environmental and development pact for an economy that responds to the needs of EU citizens.
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