MEPs criticise lack of long-term vision

Press release

Brussels, September 16, 2010: Several European Parliamentarians said the European Commission’s “Youth on the Move” strategy paper is lacking a long-term vision. In the 18-page paper the Commission presents its proposals on how to fight youth unemployment in the European Union, which it estimates at 21%.

Youth policy is one of the policies the Commission says it will prioritise in its “Europe 2020 Strategy”. The strategy succeeds the Lisbon strategy and lays out the European political guidelines for the next ten years until 2020.
“By putting sustainability on the back burner, the Commission repeats the very same mistakes it made during the time of the Lisbon agenda”, said Nessa Childers, a Socialist MEP from Ireland. “Those who are young now will be the ones to bear the onsequences of current and past non-sustainable decisions and practices”, added Kriton Arsenis, a Socialist MEP from Greece. “The task of the European Parliament will be to push for more concrete and ambitious environmental legislation that secures intergenerational justice.”

“Every politician must have in mind the ethical principle of evaluating the impact of policies on future generations”, commented Portuguese EPP MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho. “Intergenerational equity analyses long term consequences. Our future generations have the right to equitable access to resources and to a sustainable future.”

Maja Göpel of the World Future Council Foundation said, “In light of new scientific evidence on our ecosystems and long-term well-being, a restart of the old economic model in digital costume jumps too short. Policies must be guided by an updated concept of progress that reflects this new knowledge. There are good initiatives underway across European institutions and they should inform any transformative.”

Notes to the editor Yesterday, Wednesday, September 15, at 6 p.m. CET, the World Future Council hosted a public debate on “Future Generations and the EU 2020 – Safeguarding Opportunities for Youth”. The event was co-hosted by the three above-mentioned MEPs and also featured the European Commission’s Europe 2020 team leader, Tonnie de Koster, and Green MEP Emilie Turunen, who authored a parliamentary report on youth employment, adopted in June. The debate was held in the European Parliament, room JAN 6Q1.

The World Future Council supports MEPs to raise awareness for the rights of future generations. During the next months, the World Future Council will co-organise a series of lunch events linking future generations and sustainable long-term policy-making to topical issues in European policies.

Media Contacts

World Future Council

Maja Göpel
+49 178 617 0860

Kriton Arsenis
+32 228 45 873

Maria da Graça Carvalho
+32 228 45 776

Nessa Childers
+32 228 45 535


World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions. In-depth research underpins advocacy work for international agreements, regional policy frameworks and national lawmaking and thus produces practical and tangible results. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.