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Report of the independant Commission for Sustainable Equality

Abstract : The Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality has been entrusted with a mission to develop a new progressive vision rooted in sustainable development. This mission, aimed at combating growing inequalities in Europe, is inspired by the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all European Member States and other countries in the United Nations in 2015. This visionary agenda has still not been fully and clearly incorporated into European policy, or translated into specific European policy objectives. This is the Independent Commission’s first policy report. It issues a call to action for a radically different Europe, through over 100 policy proposals which can be pursued by progressive parties and other actors during the next term from 2019 to 2024, and embedded with a radically different approach to European governance built on a new Sustainable Development Pact. The Independent Commission insists on the urgency of this radical policy action, in the face of several crises that are mutually and increasingly reinforcing each other, and by the need to revive social democracy at a highly critical juncture of its political history. These crises - economic, social, environmental and political - are a result of the prevailing economic system. In the absence of profound change these crises will lead to democratic collapse, either because authoritarian populist and extremist forces will gain decisive power across Europe, or because these economic, social or environmental crises will have reached a destabilising stage for society. For example, the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made the environmental challenge very clear. A new financial crisis, which some experts are already predicting, could have devastating effects on our economies building on the persistent negative effects of the 2008 crisis. Insufficient progress has been made to make the eurozone more resilient to shocks. A continuing deterioration of social conditions, fuelled by rising inequalities and growing insecurity, not least in left behind regions across Europe, in rural areas, and in and around our urban centres, could present serious systemic risks, channeling more electoral support to authoritarian populist and extremist parties. This bleak outlook stands in contrast to what could be achieved if radically progressive policies were successfully pursued. This is what the Independent Commission has sought to contribute by laying out a detailed and concrete policy strategy - as well as a message of hope and of determination that a different Europe can be achieved; a message also to progressive parties that they must take the political lead, join up forces with trade unions and with progressive organisations in civil society, to mobilise from bottom up and claim a different political path. There is an inconvenient truth about Europe. Nearly one third of our children and our young people are at risk of poverty or in poverty, millions of young people cannot find a job to start shaping their adult life, and more than half of adult Europeans believe that younger generations will have a life worse than their own. Through the policies in this report, we can also engage younger generations and tell them that there is no predetermined bleak future. If we take action to modify Europe’s course, a very different society can emerge - a society of sustainable equality, of well-being for everyone, of economic, social and ecological balance and peace, leaving no person and no place behind.
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Eloi Laurent. Report of the independant Commission for Sustainable Equality. [Research Report] European Parliament. 2018, pp.196. ⟨hal-03404206⟩

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