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Community-led initiatives urge citizens to vote for a stronger EU Green Deal driven by collective action

Date

31 May 2024

Sections

Climate & Environment

Citizen-led initiatives on climate change claim the right of EU citizens to have the choice to live sustainably - urging them to vote for a more ambitious and localized European Green Deal in the upcoming EU elections.

Brussels, 30th May 2024: ECOLISE, the European network of community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, is urging EU citizens to go vote for a strong European Green Deal in the upcoming EU elections (6 - 9 June).

The organization is also asking citizens to read and sign the Time for Collective Action Manifesto in a dedicated microsite www.timeforcollectiveaction.eu. The Manifesto was launched last November at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels - calling on EU policy makers to translate the European Green Deal into local action through enabling policies that will both contribute to increasing its ambition, while empowering citizens to act for sustainability collectively. The Manifesto is the outcome of a one and a half year long consultation process with over 900 people from more than 140 institutions, from all around Europe involved. 

Citizen-led initiatives that aim to improve people’s lives while respecting nature’s limits are rapidly growing in Europe. Over 2 million Europeans are already engaged in the energy transition alone, not to mention urban gardens, community-supported agriculture, exchange systems like car-sharing and time banks & many other diverse initiatives. Politicians often overlook the crucial role of these collective, citizen-driven actions. These initiatives are not only hands-on, practical actions to achieve sustainability: they are rays of hope, inspiring families, friends - and now, hopefully, policy makers. They can help trigger societal change towards a socio-ecological transformation.

All these initiatives have one thing in common: they need strong social and environmental policies, such as the European Green Deal, in order to thrive. They need systemic change so that everyone has a choice to live sustainably.

Over 50 partners from all over Europe support the campaign already, and ECOLISE invites institutions and organizations to become a partner. 

Quotes by campaign partners: 

Maja Flajsig, Global Ecovillage Network Europe (GEN-Europe): ”Community-led initiatives, from ecovillages to transition towns to community gardens, are doing vital work on transforming communities, economies, and their local environments. At a European level, the impact is vast and can really support European green goals - but these initiatives need support and an enabling environment. The Manifesto weaves together powerful arguments for the importance of community-led initiatives with concrete policy proposals that will make the Green Deal strong and real. GEN Europe is proud to support the Manifesto”.

Morgane le Campion, Collectif pour une Transition Citoyenne (CTC, France): “Our collective (CTC) supports citizens who want to get involved or who are leading initiatives to promote environmental, social and democratic change in their local communities. Throughout our work, we see countless inspiring initiatives aimed at creating a more sustainable society despite all the obstacles they face. With the right support, community-led initiatives can finally move us from imagining a healthier, fairer and more sustainable world to making it a reality”.

Annette Flinterman, Permakultur Institut (GER): “The Permakultur Institut shares the vision and ideas of the Manifesto. Many permaculture projects, green but especially social projects, are great examples of how to bring the transition of society forward, using the whole systems thinking methodology. We need a bottom-up approach that is best understood, shared and carried by local communities.”

Jason Nardi of RIPESS - the Intercontinental network for the promotion of social solidarity economy: “We share the objectives of the Manifesto … to promote community-led initiatives' protagonism in making EU policies far more ecological and socially focused, where the rights of nature, social justice and care (in all its different expressions) are at the center.”

Matthew Bach & Sophia Silverton, ICLEI Europe - Local governments for sustainability: “ICLEI Europe supports the Time for Collective Action Manifesto because it advocates for strong local climate action. Collaboration between communities and local governments means long-term, mutually beneficial, and trust-based change towards more sustainable and equitable cities. It’s time to recognise this”. 

REScoop: “We believe that the only way the energy transition will succeed is by putting communities and its citizens at the heart of it. REScoop.eu promotes a cooperative and decentralized approach to the energy transition, one that gives the means to citizens to produce, distribute and consume their own sustainable energy and to invest together in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, shared e-mobility, flexibility, etc.”

Claire Roumet, Energy Cities: “As the European learning community for future-proof cities, we see no other option but to transform our territories to implement the EU Green Deal and improve citizens' well-being.”

Download the Time For Collective Action Manifesto

Watch the video about Community-led initiatives

For more information about ECOLISE’s advocacy campaign targeting the European elections, visit the Communities for Future website. To become a partner of the campaign targeting the European elections, follow this link

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