Commission White Paper fails to defend the ‘Europe We Want’ | WWF

Commission White Paper fails to defend the ‘Europe We Want’

Posted on 01 March 2017
Commission White Paper fails to defend the ‘Europe We Want’
© © European Union, 2012
The White Paper on the Future of Europe as presented by the European Commission today fails to recognise the need for the EU to put people and planet at its core. WWF criticises the Commission’s lack of attention to Sustainable Development in any of its scenarios.

"This paper is a real missed opportunity to set Europe on the path to a sustainable future in a way that would engage with its citizens – it lacks any vision or leadership. The Commission fails to deliver a credible blueprint for a Union that would live up to shared European values of social justice and environmental protection. Vision, not fear, must be at the heart our Union!” said Geneviève Pons, Director of the WWF European Policy Office.

While the White Paper does mention the environment and sustainable development on a few occasions, the scope and context of these references are mostly limited to climate change. It does not reflect the leading role the EU has played in forging some of the world’s most ambitious environmental standards, nor does it foresee a leading role for the EU in implementing its international commitments under the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. WWF has long advocated for an effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe to shape the future of the EU.

“Many of the options presented in the White Paper are designed to put a halt to higher environmental protection standards, or even aim to roll-back some of Europe’s key environmental achievements. Such scenarios are unacceptable to European citizens, and WWF will continue to call for strong European cooperation in the field of environment. Pollution does not stop at national borders!" concluded Pons.

Together with ETUC, CONCORD, European Movement International, European Women’s Lobby and European Youth Forum, WWF has drafted a common statement ‘The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive’. The initiators are now calling for civil society organisations from around Europe to sign the statement. Deadline for signatures is 20 March 2017.