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BELGIUM: Salesian Organizations Join 250 NGOs Launching Alternative Vision for Europe

(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco International, VIA Don Bosco, Don Bosco Network and the Salesian-run Jóvenes y Desarrollo joined more than 250 nongovernmental organizations from across Europe to release an alternative vision for a more democratic, just and sustainable Europe. Intended to influence the debate on the future direction of Europe, this alternative vision is endorsed by organizations representing a multitude of public interest issues, including labor rights, culture, development, environment, health, women’s rights, youth and anti-discrimination groups.

“Investing in children and youth are key ingredients for a fairer, more cohesive and sustainable Europe,” said Executive Secretary of Don Bosco International Ángel Gudiña in a statement about the document. “Providing future generations with high-quality public healthcare, social services, and formal and non-formal education ensures the continuity of the European project in view of recent events. As Don Bosco International, we intend that European Union (EU) focuses more on its citizen, especially on those who, due to their age or personal circumstance, are not usually given a voice.”

The vision document was released ahead of a summit of EU leaders in June with the key issues for Europe’s future on the agenda, including migration, security, jobs and Brexit. June 23 also marked the one year anniversary of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, which propelled questions about the future of Europe up the political agenda.

The vision describes a future for Europe in which “sustainability sits firmly at the heart of the European project,” and the EU focuses on “democracy and participation, social and environmental justice, solidarity and sustainability, respect for the rule of law, and human rights both within Europe and around the globe.”

The organizations have come together to put forth this vision for the future as an alternative to proposals from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, including five “Future of Europe” scenarios which are currently being consulted on with member states with first conclusions due at the end of the year.

“The five scenarios for the future of Europe put forward by President Juncker are all deeply disappointing and have little connection to the challenges that the European Union faces. Instead we need a bold vision—an alternative sixth scenario—that puts social and environmental wellbeing at the core. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be absolutely key for a future that serves people and the planet, not vested interests,” said Leida Rijnhout from SDG Watch Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe.

The European Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe is available here.



ANS – Belgium – 4 Salesian organizations join 250 NGOs launching Alternative Vision for Europe