02 April 2024

Bringing civil society together to shape the European Green Deal

Civil Society Forum


Bringing civil society together to shape the European Green Deal

Participants at the “Civil Society Forum for Sustainability : Shaping the European Green Deal”. Credit: European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

More than 50 civil society organisations from across Europe gathered in Brussels, Belgium, for the kick-off of the “Civil Society Forum for Sustainability : Shaping the European Green Deal”.  

Organised in the framework of the REAL DEAL project, this forum has become a space for civil society organisations from across Europe to come together and exchange views on the European Green Deal (EGD), the EU's strategy to strategy to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.  

The organisers of the Forum are two partners of the REAL DEAL project, SOLIDAR and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and SDG Watch Europe, a pan-European alliance of NGOs from development, environment, social, human rights and other sectors. 

The first Forum took place on 9 and 10 June 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. The Forum will gather 3 times in 2022. 

The objective of this first Forum was to: 

  • Analyse the gaps of the EGD towards achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda 
  • Identify the EGD's shortcomings and disconnections from other relevant processes and exchange views on how to address these issues and strengthen the Green Deal. 

To that end, participants were divided into different working groups: 

  • Economic models for a just transition, which focused on the economic model of “green growth” behind the EGD, and explored alternative concepts and systems, such as degrowth, care or sustainable lifestyles. 
  • International dimensions of the EGD, which touched upon topics such as trade, the spillover effect and the impact of green growth in the Global South, as well as on geopolitical issues and the lack of involvement of candidate countries and non-MS.  
  • Complementarity with policy processes and frameworks, monitoring and accountability, which focused on the missing links with other governance and policy frameworks, such as sustainability, the human rights framework and the SDGs.
  • A social Green Deal, which explored the social dimension of the EGD, and how to ensure that it is taken into account further in the design, implementation and monitoring of EGD policies to support those groups that might be more impacted by such policies.  
  • Equality and anti-discrimination in the EGD, which had a special focus on gender equality and intersectionality and discussed the way in which equality and antidiscrimination can be put at the center of the EGD. 
  • Bringing the EGD closer to the citizens: civic education and citizen participation, which delved into some limitations regarding the involvement of citizens in the EGD, as well as its top-down approach. 


Moreover, participants had the opportunity to share their input directly with policymakers during the closing session of the Forum’s meeting, including: 

  • Ms. Maria Nikolopoulou, Vice President of the NAT Section, European Economic and Social Committee  
  • Ms. Christine Mayer, Team Leader Sustainable Development Indicators, Eurostat 
  • Mr. Frank Siebern Thomas, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission 

The results of the discussions will be compiled into a report that will be shared with relevant policymakers, such as relevant DGs in the European Commission, MEPs and EP Committees, Permanent Representations to the EU and more.   


Contact and additional information 


For inquiries on the REAL DEAL project, please contact: 


Ingeborg Niestroy, IASS: [email protected] 


Manuela Gervasi, EEB: [email protected] 



For any press-related enquiries, please contact: 


Sebastián Rodríguez - European Movement International 


[email protected] 


You can read more about the REAL DEAL project here