Jobs and society  |  Publications  |  13.07.2011

Spring Alliance Manifesto

This manifesto from a network of civil society organisations calls for the EU to reverse its current economic policies and put its people and the planet at the centre of its policy-making. It argues that the economy should become a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

The overarching strategy of the European Union for the past four years can be summed up in two words: “growth and jobs”. As a result, EU policy has often prioritised economic expansion over the welfare of the people of Europe and the sustainability of our planet.

The next decade will be critical to deciding whether the EU wants to take the lead on sustainable development. Addressing the challenges of climate change, the financial and economic crises, the energy crunch, resource conflicts and global poverty requires a change in the current paradigm of competitiveness and growth. It requires a coherent EU agenda with the ambition of satisfying human needs and bringing quality of life while ensuring social equity and respecting the earth’s carrying capacity.

The European Environmental Bureau, the European Trade Union Confederation, Social Platform and Concord have joined forces and initiated the Spring Alliance, with a single purpose: to tackle these issues by promoting an overarching EU strategy that pursues simultaneously economic, environmental and social goals. In this vision, the environment and social goals are not an addendum to the ‘growth and jobs’ strategy (the so-called ‘Lisbon strategy’) but are the cornerstone of a long term development strategy.

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