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EU Council: governments must act together to 'build back better'

23 April 2020
by foeeurope -- last modified 23 April 2020

As EU heads of state and government today discuss a collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Friends of the Earth Europe has called on them to act urgently and decisively and put addressing inequalities and the planetary emergency at the heart of a recovery plan.


Jagoda Munic, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, said:

"Europe faces at once a world pandemic and planetary emergency – we rely on our leaders to act in solidarity for the common interests of people and the planet. This summit would fail if it did not come out with a resounding commitment to 'build back better'. Our governments must unite and direct relief funds to ensuring Europe is more resilient, equal, green and caring beyond Covid-19.

"Failure to put in adequate funds for the post-Covid transition to a sustainable and fair Europe, under a strengthened EU Green Deal, will just lock us in to planetary breakdown.

"Rather than weaken or delay action we need to double-down on the Just Transition and sustainable solutions for food, agriculture, energy, nature, and resource use.

"Fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, including upholding civic space, must be a non-negotiable prerequisite of any EU recovery plan." 

Civil society organisations working for the environment, human rights, civil liberties, women, youth, and other issues, and Trade Unions, have issued a joint call for the EU institutions and member states to work towards fundamental change in our social, economic and political systems in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friends of the Earth Europe is supporting the call for the EU to invest in a green and just recovery.

Friends of the Earth Europe is the largest grassroots environmental network in Europe, uniting more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups. We are the European arm of Friends of the Earth International.

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