Green economy  |  Publications  |  15.11.2011

The Paris Declaration: A way out of the crisis in Europe

The Congress of the European Green Party adopted in November 2011 the Paris Declaration - a program including twelve Green proposals for socially just and environmentally sustainable solutions to the crisis.

Our world is experiencing combined financial, economic, social, ecological and democratic crises, with runaway climate change being a life threat for humanity. The present crisis is embedded into this broader context. (...) We are facing the consequences of an unsustainable development model, focusing on economic growth alone, ignoring ecological and social constraints and fuelled by excessive public and private debt, privatisation and deregulation. These crises are eroding social cohesion and leading to political disintegration of the continent, driving us to irrelevance in the 21st century.

The crisis has exposed fault lines in the construction of the euro and placed weaker Eurozone economies in danger of defaulting on their sovereign debts, necessitating multiple emergency support measures, which even today may not be adequate to stem the tide. Resolving these in-built structural problems will require significant steps to be taken and these in turn will impact all EU Member States, whether they are Eurozone members or not. (...)

Even though we face enormous challenges, this crisis is a unique opportunity to achieve a quantum leap forward, enabling Europeans to build a socially just and environmentally sustainable society based on the respect of human rights and built upon a participative multi-national, multi-level democracy. What we need is a paradigm shift, putting human well-being in a sustainable environment at the centre of policy-making, not just as a long-term, distant objective. This is a moment of truth in the history of humanity: we are at the eve of a transformation of our civilization. While no ready-made blueprint exists for a sustainable world in the 21st century, the Greens acknowledge the depth and breadth of changes that need to be implemented.

Therefore, the European Greens propose a Green New Deal for Europe – a comprehensive set of policies, which aims to provide innovative and interlinked solutions to the challenges facing us in the 21th century and which requires new political thinking and new economic visions. We believe that Green New Deal will foster a wave of new quality jobs and investments, which will drive a new model of development.

Excerpts from the introduction to the Paris Declaration.

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