We call things historic when they determine our lives for years to come. And something truly historic happened on Monday.
As the coronavirus wrecks our lives and livelihoods, the EU has, for the first time in our history, taken action as one by acquiring a huge loan, in order to pass on the money to those worst affected by the virus. Many thought it was impossible, yet our community fought hard to demand what was needed as soon as the crisis hit.
Massive amounts of money will soon be transferred - so massive our economies could start to move from the ‘old’, to the ‘new’. From a model that upholds unequal healthcare, air pollution, the destruction of nature and our climate, to a model that is green and fair.
Sadly, the deal agreed upon by our leaders does not support a truly green recovery. The fight is not over -- but we only have a few months to turn things around. We will fight for governments receiving the money to make their investments green and social. We will pressure EU leaders to only approve transformative plans, and push back on measures that will require austerity. We will call for the loans to be paid back by taxes on the biggest corporations, who today often pay less tax than citizens.
It was with the support of so many of you that we got this far in the first place! Look at some examples of what our community has done to put pressure on decision makers:
- Thousands of us sent emails and tweets to Members of the European Parliament to ask them to present our petition in the plenary debate -- and it worked!
- Thanks to our community’s donations we took over the prime space of Politico, a key media outlet read by national governments' and EU’ politicians in the week before an important meeting of all 27 EU heads of state and government.
- Our joint campaign with other fantastic organisations also took over the homepages of some of the main news sites:
- With WWF Germany, on the 1st July we stood our ground in front of the Environment Ministry in Berlin, the day Germany took over the Presidency of the European Council. Svenja Schulze, the German Environment Minister, listened to our demands and responded officially:
And that’s not all: we saw many more magnificent displays of people power across the continent!
- With Avaaz, Transport and Environment, Greenpeace and many other awesome organisations, we brought our demands to politicians. This time, it was in Brussels at the first in person meeting of the 27 EU leaders, when the final agreement was signed. We handed-over a stunning 1.3 million signatures, brought together from the WeMove, Avaaz, and Sum of Us supporters, to the cabinet of Charles Michel, President of the European Council:
© Eric De Mildt / Greenpeace
- Tens of thousands of us made heads of state and government listen to us directly, using Twitter, Facebook or email, just before they held preparatory bilateral meetings. That’s the beauty of our community. For example, when Macron and Rutte met for dinner, our community served them some tasty appetizers, when thousands of us directed our demands to their Facebook pages en masse!
The next weeks and months will be intense with a frenzy of negotiations in the European and national parliaments, between EU leaders, the European Parliament and the Commission. Each one is an opportunity to work towards a different tomorrow. We have a huge opportunity ahead of us: we can’t let it slip.
The good news is that we are best placed to make a difference. We are a European community ready to take action, with campaigners in different EU countries ready to deploy the right tactics at the right moment, and with strong partners who work with us to deliver our messages. We also have the tools to help connect our community to decision makers, by sending them direct and personal messages via email, Twitter, Facebook - and even to call them on the phone! YYour financial support is what makes all of this possible, so please chip in a few euros a month.